Conserving energy won’t just save money, it can earn it.
Beginning Friday, a federally-funded program can lead to a rebate of between $25 and $199 following the purchase of many Energy Star appliances.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Georgia has more than $8.6 million to offer as rebates for energy-efficient appliances, including refrigerators, water heaters, dishwashers, furnaces and air-conditioning units.
Unlike previous state-funded sales tax-free holidays, the program will continue until the available funds are depleted.
The Home Depot has geared up for the rebate program, said spokesman Craig Fishel.
“Starting Friday, we are going to be doing 10 percent off on all appliances,” he said. “It’s just another way to help our customers save money.”
To qualify for the rebate, a new purchase must replace an existing appliance and the old item must be recycled.
Only one rebate per category per address can qualify for the program, and there is a household maximum rebate of $1,200.
The purchase must also be made in Georgia and in person. Online and out-of-state purchases do not qualify.
The requirements likely will boost sales for local businesses, said James McCoy, president of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.
“Buying big ticket items drives sales taxes, and this is a much more significant incentive to spend that money locally,” he said.
“I think anything can help, any bit of flexibility that a small business person can have, they need right now. Even in the best of times, those bits of money can ... help them be a success.”
More than half the merchandise at the Peachtree Parkway Sears Home Appliance Showroom is Energy Star qualified, said manager Steve Cowart.
Though the products qualify, Cowart is running through a checklist to prepare for the new program.
“We are making sure we are getting all the correct information on exactly what the promotion entails,” he said.
“We’re going to call the state and help the customers with their rebate to make sure they get the proper rebate with each and every customer.”
Sales this week have been soft, Cowart said. But he believes potential buyers got wind of the rebates and are waiting to maximize their savings.
“We’re looking for a huge weekend,” he said.
Fishel said he’s not sure how popular the rebate will turn out to be, though staff levels will be consistent with any other weekend.
“It’s going to be kind of a learning experience for everybody, I think," he said. "This is the first time the government’s really done something like this, so we’re kind of taking a wait-and-see approach,” he said.
“Having said that, any chance for our customers to save money is something we’re happy to be a part of.”