ANNAPOLIS (April 5, 2010)—A government rebate program for new energy efficient household appliances will begin in Maryland on April 22. The Maryland Appliance Rebate Program is referred to by some as a "Cash for Clunker" appliance rebate program, after the recent "Cash for Clunker" automobile rebate program. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy with funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is administered at the state level by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA).
The rebates, available on certain types of energy-efficient appliances, are in addition to rebates available directly from several electricity utilities in the state, including SMECO, BGE, PEPCO, Delmarva Power, Allegheny Power, and Choptank Electric Cooperative. Programs vary by utility.
For example, SMECO customers can receive a $50 rebate directly from SMECO for an Energy Star-rated clothes washer and an additional $100 through the state program.
Some appliances qualify for a state rebate, even though the local utility does not provide a corresponding rebate. Only one utility of six offers a rebate for electric heat pump water heaters, but any Maryland resident can apply for a $300 rebate through the state program.
You will not need to turn in your old appliance to get a rebate in most cases. However, you will have to certify that you are replacing an old appliance of the same function. This means that you cant put your old refrigerator in the basement as extra storage and still get a rebate for a new fridge. There are exceptions. Allegheny Power requires recycling of your old refrigerator in order to receive a rebate.
Qualifying appliances may be purchased at a Maryland retailer or online, as long as you can prove that you paid Maryland sales and usage tax. Online retailers without a physical presence in the state are not required to collect state sales tax. However, citizens are supposed to remit all sales tax directly to the state on the honor system.
You will be able to take advantage of both the utility appliance rebate and the Maryland appliance rebate at the same time starting on April 22. All rebates will be processed through your electric utility provider. Rebates are not retroactive. Purchases made before April 22 will not qualify for the ARRA-funded rebate.
For citizens who are not a customer of one of the six utilities, MEA will be running a simplified rebate program for customers of municipal and cooperative utilities. Look for marketing information on the MEA website or with your utility bills sometime in upcoming months for more information.
For more information about the state program, such as which appliances qualify for the rebate, visit http://energy.maryland.gov/documents/ApplianceRebateProgramFAQupdated3-31-10.pdf .
For more information about the SMECO appliance rebate program, visit http://www.smeco.coop/save/appliance/ .