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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Massachusetts to have Second Round of Appliance Rebates

Business Week

Massachusetts officials said Friday that they will hold a second round of appliance rebates this summer after would-be participants crashed a computer server then drained the program of all its funding in 2 1/2 hours.

Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles said Friday the state will also fund all of more than 12,700 rebate reservations placed on a waiting list after Thursday's first-come, first-served free-for-all.

Those on the waiting list will be notified by e-mail or mail in about one week explaining how to claim their rebate. The deadlines for buying appliances and submitting paperwork have been extended by one week to aid those customers on the waiting list, officials said.

The rebates totaled up to $250 for dishwashers, $200 for refrigerators, $175 for clothes washers and $50 for freezers. Many manufacturers and retailers were also offering add-on rebates of their own, dramatically lowering product costs.

Thursday's rebate program, designed to encourage consumers to trade in energy-sucking appliances for more miserly ones, was funded with federal stimulus dollars.

The $5.5 million in rebates will help replace about 26,556 dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, clothes washers and freezers, Bowles said.

Money for the summer rebate program will come from state funds including the auction of carbon allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and existing utility company funds for state energy efficiency programs.

Those awarded rebates Thursday and those placed on the waiting list must buy their kitchen appliances by May 12 and have their old inefficient ones picked up for recycling by June 26.