NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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A Kitchen "Cash for Clunkers" Program

A Kitchen “Cash for Clunkers” Program

            As part of the government's economic stimulus package up to $300 million in federal funds is being provided to encourage consumers to buy energy-efficient appliances.

If you have an old energy-guzzling refrigerator, air conditioner or washing machine you’d love to replace, it may be a good idea to wait until November when a cash-for-clunkers type of program begins.

Consumers will be eligible for a rebate only if they buy products that meet federal Energy Star qualifications for appliance efficiency.  Rebates under the program could range from $50 to $250, depending on the type of appliance.

For example, Energy Star qualified refrigerators are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to use 20% less energy than models not labeled with the energy Star logo. Choose a new qualified model rather than a non-qualified model and you could cut your energy bills by $165 over the lifetime of your fridge.

If you still have a fridge from the 1980s and replace it with an Energy Star qualified model you may save over $100 each year on your utility bills. Replace a fridge from the 1970s and double your potential saving to nearly $200 per year.

            Use the Energy Star savings calculator at http://www.energystar.gov to find out exactly how much money you’ll save by replacing your existing refrigerator.  In an easy-to-understand format, you input a homebuyer’s annual income, monthly debt, and down payment along with purchase price, utility bills and mortgage information for a standard home and an Energy Star qualified home. Based on this information, HomeCalc can easily show the utility bill savings from investing in an Energy Star qualified home and/or appliances

The U.S. Energy Department has granted each state the authority to decide which Energy Star appliances will be included in the program. Unlike the popular auto trade-in program, this version won't require consumers to turn in their old appliances. But similar to "Clunkers," when the funds run out, the program will end.  Look for more details on how the program will operate in ND in the near future.


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