Retire an Old Appliance and Claim a Rebate


Goodbye, old fridge!

Moms, how many of you have been waiting impatiently for an excuse to get rid of an old appliance? You’ve put up with the noisy dishwasher or the hand-me-down clothes washer for all this time because they still work, but deep in your heart you long for the convenience of a delay start option or the capacity of a front-loading model.

Right now the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate program gives you the excuse you need to buy a coveted appliance.   Rebates apply to Energy Star appliances that replace older, less efficient models and range anywhere from $50 for a freezer to $150 for a refrigerator. Rebates are given in the form of a prepaid Visa card that is mailed directly to you. The program ends as soon as the funds are used, and Alabama’s balance for these rebates is declining daily as consumers claim them.

We know you’re happy to part with the old fridge, but you may face some resistance from those in your household who look upon it as a magically stocked and cleaned food safe that is, after all, paid for.  In that case, conduct a simple feasibility study right now at the Energy Star website. This calculator will show how much your current appliance costs to operate in comparison to a newer Energy Star model.

Before anybody gets the bright idea to move the old fridge to the basement, let me point out that the rebate is only available to households who are replacing an older model appliance  and putting it out of use (the appliance retailer will haul away your old appliance). Remember, the whole point of the program is to get that energy hog out of the house, and that includes the man cave.

Note: Rebates do not apply to online purchases.

Special Note: I had already purchased a new fridge online through Upromise so I could get 3% of the purchase price applied to my kids’ 529(b) college savings plans. (I purchased from Home Depot, which normally offers 2% back on purchases made through the Upromise site but there was a promotional 3% during the time I ordered).

Then, just after I received my online confirmation of the order, I realized that online purchases aren’t eligible for the rebate.  I’m certain that stipulation is an effort to benefit our local economy, which makes sense. I called the customer service line in a panic to cancel so I could return to the local store to order.

It turns out that since even an online order will be delivered and serviced through the local store, my purchase still qualifies. The service rep gave me my Special Services Number (special in this case because the order originated online) so I could have the receipt printed at the local store. This is the receipt I submitted for the rebate.

Whew! The good news is, I took advantage of the rebate,  got free delivery and haul-away for the old appliance, and got 3% of the purchase – in my case, around $30 – applied to a 529(b) account.  Even better, I should save enough in energy costs over the next five years to pay for the new refrigerator!