Appliance rebates program kicks off Wednesday

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The South Carolina Appliance Rebates program kicks off Wednesday, March 31 at 7 a.m.

The program is funded by South Carolina's share of federal stimulus funds earmarked for appliance rebates. Each state is operating its own program. South Carolina's program is operated by the Budget and Control Board's S.C. Energy Office. It's only for people replacing an existing appliance with a new ENERGY STAR labeled one.

For appliances bought in a store, the rebate will be applied instantly when the customer goes to the register.

Installers of whole-house equipment such as water heaters and HVAC systems will reserve rebates online and then provide customers with mail-in forms.

In South Carolina, rebates will not apply to online purchases.

The rebates range from $50 for refrigerators and dishwashers to $500 for heat pumps and gas furnaces.

Rebate levels are based upon the cost difference between a standard and an ENERGY STAR appliance and the amount of energy saved.

In order to get the rebate, you must purchase an appliance from an authorized vendor or contractor. That vendor or contractor had to register with the South Carolina Energy office in order to participate.

Contractors and retailers must agree to recycle old items which are being replaced. Some things like dryers, stoves and microwaves are not included in the program.

Many people are asking, "Can the appliance be broken?" Yes. You have to agree to turn in the old appliance to get the rebate for a new one. Remember, if you have already made a purchase, it does not qualify for the rebate program.

The program is first come, first served. When the $3.9 million in federal money given to South Carolina runs out, the program ends.

The South Carolina Energy office will be answering your calls Tuesday from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and again Wednesday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. at (803) 737-8030.

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