Cash in your clunker appliances

May 7, 2010

By Staff

Many homeowners may not realize their appliances are a big energy drain — and a drain on their wallet. Cash for Appliances Washington, now available throughout the Evergreen State, offers consumers extra cash back to help them make the switch to a new energy-efficient refrigerator or clothes washer.

Refrigerators manufactured before 1993 cost about $80 to run on average each year, compared to current Energy Star-qualified models that cost as little as $30 annually. Clothes washers that are more than 10 years old add an extra $135 per year in utility costs compared to a new Energy Star-qualified model. In addition to obtaining extra cash back after purchase, participants will save money month after month on their utility bills.

Cash for Appliances Washington rebates are only available until funds run out. The program offers $100 cash back on new, qualified Energy Star clothes washers and $75 on new Energy Star refrigerators when the old unit is recycled. These cash-back incentives are in addition to the incentives offered through Washington utilities for purchasing new and recycling old appliances.

“Washington has an objective to improve statewide per capita energy efficiency by 10 percent by 2012, towards a goal of 20 percent by 2020,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a news release. “We stimulate the appliance marketplace by offering consumers a good reason to purchase a new appliance. We reduce water and energy consumption which helps preserve the environment of our state, and consumers reduce their long-term energy bills.”

The program is expected to result in 15,000 fridges and 45,000 clothes washers being replaced by new efficient models, saving Washingtonians about $1 million in energy costs and 355 million gallons of water, as well as preventing 8,042 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

“In addition to providing a nice incentive for consumers to switch to high-efficiency appliances, which in turn reduces their monthly utility bills, Cash for Appliances Washington is also providing a needed boost to retailers as they struggle through this slow economic recovery,” state Department of Commerce Director Rogers Weed said in the release. “It’s a win-win for Washington.”

The federal Department of Energy funds the program, and the state Department of Commerce administers it.

All Washington households are eligible to receive one clothes washer and one refrigerator rebate. Consumers must buy their appliance from a Washington retailer.

Products that qualify for the rebate are Energy Star refrigerators greater than nine cubic feet and ultra-high efficiency Energy Star clothes washers with a Modified Energy Factor greater or equal to 2.46 and a Water Factor less than or equal to four.

Learn more at


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