How To Dispose Of and Get Rebates For Old Home Appliances

November 8th, 2009

Home appliances, like all consumer goods, require energy and resources in their creation, operation, and disposal.  Environmental consequences after disposal may include the introduction of greenhouse gases, heavy metals and toxic chemicals into the environment. Refrigerators, air conditioners, electronics, and fluorescent lighting products pose particular risks to the environment that should be kept in check; however, consumers should minimize the impact of all disposed goods by recycling as much of the durable materials as possible (metals, plastics, glass) and by making themselves aware of and recovering any harmful substances involved. This reduces the impact of landfill waste as well as further mining of increasingly scarce resources.

Cooling equipment, such as refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers and room air conditioners involve refrigerants and insulating foams that release ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases once in a landfill. Older home appliances may also contain PCBs or mercury. Newer products (made within the past 10 years) do not contain these toxic materials and use refrigerants and foam blowing agents that are less harmful to the ozone layer, but they still contribute greenhouse gas emissions. Federal law requires the removal and proper disposal of refrigerants but not foam products.

Most municipalities will pick up your old refrigerator, freezer or air conditioner with the bulk trash pick-up (you must call the city to arrange a pick-up). By law, the city must dispose of refrigerants, PCBs and mercury properly. But first, contact your utility and to see if there is a rebate or bounty program in your area.

Can I get a rebate for trading in my old home appliance?

Your utility may even pay you to get rid of inefficient home appliances.  These programs usually involve an incentive on the order of $35 for the collection of old units, either in the form of cash or a rebate towards an ENERGY STAR home appliance replacement. A third party contractor that works with the utility will either come to you and pick up the appliance, or hold a turn-in event where you drop it of. Existing programs predominantly target old refrigerators; a few programs also offer a rebate for room air conditioners. Contractors ensure that the old units are disposed of properly.

Some companies that run bounty programs are ARCA Inc., JACO Environmental, and CSG. To bring a bounty program to your community, or for more information on bounty programs, try contacting your electricity provider, your local air protection government official, or the aforementioned companies

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Ohio Appliance Rebates Set to Participate In Government Appliance Rebate Program

November 2nd, 2009

Starting early next year, Ohio consumers will be eligible for rebates of $100 to $250 to replace their outdated kitchen appliances and water heaters with newer, Energy Star-rated appliances.

 The government appliance rebate program will pay rebates to consumers who buy such appliances, and could get $100 back for qualified refrigerators, dishwashers and high-efficiency gas water heaters, $150 back for washers and $250 back for electric heat pump water heaters.

The Ohio appliance rebate program will be requiring new appliance buyers to properly dispose of or recycle their old appliances, but it doesn’t say how. If all goes as planned, the new appliances would cut annual energy consumption by 11,656,501 kilowatt-hours, or the equivalent of what it takes to power 11,000 to 15,000 homes, and 449,755 therms, or enough gas to heat 450 Northeast Ohio homes.  It would reduce water consumption by 175,652,211 gallons a year, or enough to fill more than 70 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The stimulus bill this year gave funds for the first time to an energy rebate program set up by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The appliance rebates would encourage people to replace old appliances with more energy-efficient models, and help appliance store owners spur sales.


The federal Energy Star program covers 60 product categories like refrigerators, one of the biggest household energy hogs. The Energy Star Program also includes everyday household appliances that the Energy Department says underscores the president’s commitment to make American homes more energy efficient while supporting the nation’s economic recovery. The government appliance rebate for Ohio should be in full swing with most participating states by late January 2010.




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New York Appliance Rebate Program “Great Appliance Swap Out” Ready To Offer Rebates For Home Appliance Purchases

October 22nd, 2009

New York Governor David A. Paterson today announced that New York has submitted a plan for federal approval that would provide consumers with rebates for purchasing certain energy-efficient refrigerators, clothes washers, freezers and dishwashers through a program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

If New York’s plan is approved by federal government, the “Great Appliance Swap Out” program will allow the State to issue nearly 170,000 rebates totaling $16.8 million.

Under the proposed plan, which is scheduled to be offered during President’s Week in February, 2010, rebates for high-efficiency appliances will range from $50-$105 for a single unit and up to $555 for the purchase of a three appliance package. The plan must be approved by the Federal Department of Energy (DOE), which is expected to take at least 30 days. In addition, the program encourages recycling by offering a larger rebate to consumers who recycle their discarded appliances.

“New York must continue to build a clean energy economy that will cut our energy costs and reduce our greenhouse gas pollution. This program will provide an important boost to the economy, while encouraging consumers all across New York to buy appliances that reduce energy consumption,” Governor Paterson said. “We thank President Obama and our entire Congressional Delegation for working to make this critical stimulus funding available. Without this federal funding, which will provide much-needed economic stimulus in New York, we would not have pursued this program. We look forward to receiving DOE approval and moving forward in offering these cost- and energy-saving benefits to New Yorkers.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray, Jr. said: “Consumers can save hundreds of dollars a year by replacing an old appliance with the appliances we’ve included in our rebate program. The program will not only help consumers save money and reduce the environmental impact of older appliances, but will help us meet the Governor’s ambitious goals of improving our environment and decreasing our energy usage in the future.”

James R. Sherin, President and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State, said: “New technologies make new appliances for the home more energy efficient. We applaud Governor Paterson and NYSERDA for mapping out a rebate program that will help put those appliances into the homes of New Yorkers who need and want them and for working with the retail industry to ensure that it’s something we can deliver to the consumer. The rebate makes a great incentive for New Yorkers to make their households greener than ever.”

Under the proposed plan, consumers could receive government appliance rebates for purchasing eligible appliances individually or in a bundle. Appliances will qualify only if they have earned the ENERGY STAR® label, meaning that they are up to 30 percent more efficient than standard models on the market. Consumers may receive a larger rebate by purchasing three eligible appliances that meet standards issued by the Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE) that are higher than ENERGY STAR standards.

Under the proposed plan, customers purchasing appliances would qualify for a rebate of $75 ($105 with documented recycling) for refrigerators, $75 ($100 with documented recycling) for clothes washers and $50 ($75 with documented recycling) for freezers. Rebates are available for dishwashers when they are purchased as part of a three appliance package, which may qualify for a $500 rebate ($550 with documented recycling).

“Thanks to our collaboration with our retail partner network, there will be many retailers offering free recycling to make it easier for the customer to receive the maximum rebate,” added Murray. “NYSERDA is also coordinating efforts with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York City Department of Sanitation so consumers can also recycle their appliances at local landfills, waste stations and recycling centers.”
Consumers must be New York State residents to be eligible for the proposed rebate program. Appliances can be purchased at any retail location and must meet specified ENERGY STAR or CEE standards. The program is open only to individuals purchasing appliances for their own use. Adequate documentation of recycling must be included to receive the maximum rebate amount and the rebate cannot be combined with other appliance rebate programs from utilities or municipalities. The rebate can, however, be combined with other manufacturer rebates or retail promotions.

Rebate instructions and forms will be available at, through NYSERDA’s hotline (1-877-NY-SMART), or from a participating retailer. The application and proper documentation must be mailed for processing within 30 days of purchase and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are expended. Once the application is verified as complete, it will be processed and payment will be issued.

NYSERDA offers homeowners information on how to reduce their energy costs through its “Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®” program which offers strategies for encouraging comprehensive home energy improvements for existing homes. This program has helped more than 27,000 New Yorkers significantly cut their energy usage.

Additional information, including guidelines for the appliance rebate program and other programs to help homeowners reduce energy costs, can be found on NYSERDA’s web site at or from NYSERDA’s consumer hotline at: 877-NY-SMART.

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Save Big With Energy Star Refrigerators and Government Appliance Rebate!

October 14th, 2009

Refrigerators and freezers consume considerable electricity. In fact, next to an air conditioner or pool pump, a refrigerator is often a home’s heaviest electricity user. The recent government appliance rebate program will give purchasers of home appliances an opportunity to not only save energy, but receive up to a $200 rebate starting October 2009. A brand new Energy Star refrigerator will often pay for itself in a few years through energy savings. Did you know? Many refrigerators manufactured before 1993 can cost more than $100 per year in electricity—twice as much as a new ENERGY STAR qualified model. And fridges from the 1970s cost four times more to operate.

Whether or not you are able to afford a new energy efficient refrigerator now or later, you can take advantage of the following tips and tricks to boost efficiency:

·         Lower the temperature of the freezer, and raise that of the refrigerator. You can keep the freezer as cold as 0 degrees F, but it may take a long time to thaw foods. Keep the refrigerator at 38 degrees F or colder (any warmer will allow foods to spoil). You can check temperatures by placing a thermometer between frozen food items in the freezer or in a glass of water in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

·         Give your refrigerator some space. Maintaining about 2 inches of space around your refrigerator allows enough room for heat generated by the condenser coils and compressor to escape. This means your appliance will not have to work as hard to keep cool.

·         Position your refrigerator as far away from significant heat sources as possible. This includes direct sunlight and heat vents, as well as heat-generating appliances such as stoves and ovens.

·         Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Of course, the “don’t stand with the refrigerator door open” rule has been around as long as refrigerators, but now it is more important than ever. The cold air that escapes when the door is opened is replaced by warm air that must be cooled all over again.

·         Be sure the refrigerator and freezer doors seal tightly. You can test the seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If you’re able to remove it easily with the door closed, it’s probably time to replace the rubber gasket around the door’s perimeter or adjust the door.

·         Don’t over-stuff your refrigerator. A full refrigerator has to work harder to stay cool than a moderately full one.

In the end purchasing a new refrigerator will pay for itself overtime, and you can use the energy and money savings towards something else you have planned such as purchasing that new energy star television. Just like the “cash for clunkers” automobile program we don’t know how long the government appliance rebate  “cash for refrigerators” program will last . Don’t be left out! 


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Appliance Rebates

September 28th, 2009

Tips For Improving Energy Efficiency In The Kitchen

September 21st, 2009

Many have wondered if using small appliances as opposed to bigger kitchen appliances will save energy in the kitchen. A few calculations and a little planning can help you determine the best path to having an energy efficient kitchen.


The electric range, dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator are the primary electricity consumers in most kitchens. In many cases using smaller countertop kitchen appliances can result in less electricity usage but not always.


Many factors including the time of year, and the heating and air conditioning systems will determine your overall electricity usage. For example if you use your kitchen range during the winter all the electricity used for cooking ends up heating your home, and reducing your furnace from cycling on and off. The drawback is the heat from the range is basically resistance heating which is more expensive. Heat produced from a gas or oil furnace is much less expensive.


During the summertime the process works exactly the opposite. If you air condition your home cooking will make the air conditioner run longer so the cost of cooking has basically increased. The moisture given off by the cooking creates humidity which creates load on the air conditioner, and causes it to run longer.


There is an easy way to determine how much energy an electric appliance costs to use. The appliance nameplate lists the amperage or wattage. Multiply the wattage by the amount of time (number of hours the appliance is used) and divide this by 1000. This gives you the kilowatt-hours used. Multiply this number by your electric rate in dollars per kilowatt hour. If the nameplate lists amperage, multiply it by 120 to get watts.


A good rule of thumb is to use the smallest cooking appliance possible for the amount of food. For just cooking a couple of hamburgers, a countertop toaster oven is ideal. If the quantity of burgers requires you to cook them several at a time choose the range oven.


Another consideration is how many consecutive items you have to cook. If you are going to bake a cake, roast meat and then bake potatoes, use the large range oven. The mass of the oven holds heat from on food item to the next. This eliminates the preheat cycle and provides even cooking. Using a high quality slow cooker, such as a crock pot can also be and energy saver. For fast cooking a pressure cooker dramatically reduces cooking time. A small countertop convection oven has small fan to circulate the heated air around the food faster. Reducing cooking time reduces the total kilowatt-hours consumed and the generated in your kitchen. Some foods cook better without the convection air, but they will take longer. Of course using a microwave oven saves electricity because the cooking times for small quantities are very short.


There are a number of ways to acheive energy efficiency in the kitchen, and at the end of the day saving energy in the kitchen can be achieved by matching the amount of food you are cooking to the appropriate sized kitchen appliance, and purchasing appliances that have energy star ratings. 

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Energy Star Appliance Rebates

September 9th, 2009



Did you know that the average home spends about $2,200 on energy bills every year? Change to appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR, and you can save $75 a year in energy costs, while saving the environment.

Until recent news of an upcoming government appliance rebate program (dubbed “Cash for Appliances” or “Cash for Refrigerators”), many Americans had heard of Energy Star appliances, but didn’t really know much about them other than they cost more than average appliances.

What is Energy Star?

Many are unaware that, Energy Star is not a company; it’s a federal government label indicating energy efficiency. The Energy Star program is a joint venture between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy (DOE); it certifies products as energy efficient as a service to American consumers.

How Will the Government Appliance Rebate Program Work?

Each participating state is currently crafting a unique plan to distribute the government appliance rebate program funds to consumers who purchase energy efficient home appliances.

Consumers should expect every participating state to publish separate program rules following each state’s plan approval by the Department of Energy.

U.S. Department of Energy Recommended List of Qualifying Energy Star Home Appliances

In the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program funding opportunity announcement, the Department of Energy provided guidelines for states to consider as they craft incentive programs. Included in that guidance is a list of suggested appliances. If states follow these guidelines, consumers should expect to see the following categories of appliances covered by state appliance rebate programs:

·        Boilers

·        Central air conditioners

·        Clothes washers

·        Dishwashers

·        Freezers

·        Furnaces (gas and oil)

·        Heat pumps (air source and geothermal)

·        Refrigerators

·        Room air conditioners

·        Water heaters

The Bottom Line – Save Energy, Save Money!


When buying an appliance, remember that it has two price tags: what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models. The money you save on your utility bills can more than make up for the cost of a more expensive but more efficient ENERGY STAR model, and with the government appliance rebate in place the playing field has been leveled.

For top performance, premium features, and energy savings, look for energy-efficient clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, room air conditioners and dehumidifiers that have earned the ENERGY STAR. This mark may appear on the appliance, the packaging or the EnergyGuide label.


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