For Immediate Release - June 07, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program to Launch July 28

Up to $200 in rebates offered per household on eligible refrigerator and room air conditioner replacements

BOSTON - June 7, 2011 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to supporting energy efficiency, Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today announced the Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program will launch on July 28, 2011.

A follow-up to last year's Great Appliance Exchange, the new program is open to Massachusetts households. Customers who purchase a new ENERGY STAR® refrigerator and/or room air conditioner to replace an inefficient model, may qualify for rebates of $150 and $50, respectively.

"Taking old, inefficient appliances off the grid and replacing them with energy saving models, cuts energy consumption and costs, while stimulating the economy with retail sales," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. "As I have said before, the clean energy revolution is going to occur one household at a time and this program is a great example of how it will happen."

The program is funded by a combination of a US Department of Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, funding from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and funds available to promote energy efficiency from a nitrogen oxides (NOx) cap and trade program established to reduce ozone pollution. The program is expected to fund approximately 20,000 rebates worth $2 million and is estimated to save around 1.8 million kilowatt hours in a year, enough to power 250 homes for a year.

"This program will save consumers money not only on their initial appliance purchase, but also in lower energy bills for years," said DOER Commissioner Sylvia. "The Commonwealth is pleased to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy, Massachusetts public utilities, the Cape Light Compact, and participating retail stores to make this happen."

Rebates will be available on all ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerators and room air conditioners, purchased on or after July 28, and each purchaser must replace an existing refrigerator or room air conditioner to receive a rebate. Customers who participate and who are eligible will receive a $150 rebate for refrigerators and $50 for room air conditioners. Those households served by the Cape Light Compact, National Grid Electric, NSTAR Electric, Unitil, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company are also eligible for an already existing $50 Mass Save rebate on their ENERGY STAR® refrigerator purchase. (The Mass Save refrigerator rebate is available only through www.MassSave.com, not through this program.)

Prior to purchase, customers are encouraged to check how much rebate funding is available by going online to the rebate program website, where they'll be able to track the status of funds and their own rebate applications. There will also be a customer service center available for those who don't have access to the website. In addition, retailers can provide customers with real-time status of funding in-store. DOER will provide the program's website address and the customer service center information closer to the launch of the program. A list of participating retailers will also be available on the website and through the call center.

After a competitive procurement process, DOER selected Minnesota-based Helgeson Enterprises, Inc. to administer the rebate program. Helgeson Enterprises has successfully managed ARRA-funded appliance rebate programs in 14 other states, including Colorado, Georgia, and Rhode Island, and has a robust national rebate fulfillment business. Based on Helgeson's experience with similarly-designed programs in other states, rebate funds are estimated to be available for a couple of weeks after the program launches.

Customers can follow the steps below to participate:

  • Customers can confirm the real-time availability of rebate funds via the program's website, the customer service phone line, or a retail location registered to participate in this program with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Customers who purchase a new ENERGY STAR® room air conditioner on or after July 28 bring in their old unit for recycling at the time of purchase, and certify on their rebate application that they have traded their old one in.
  • Customers who purchase a new ENERGY STAR® refrigerator on or after July 28 can accept delivery and certify on their rebate application that their old refrigerator has been hauled away.
  • Customers fill out a rebate application online, which places a hold on the requested funds. Those who apply via the customer service center will receive their completed application in the mail. The signed application, which includes certification that a refrigerator and/or room air conditioner has been traded in, is sent with proof of purchase(s) to Helgeson Enterprises Inc.
  • Receipt and progress of the application can be tracked online or via the service center.
  • Rebate payments are sent via U.S. mail.

The 2011 Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program is a limited time only offer that ends when the funding is fully exhausted. Funding is limited to $2 million and rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Old appliances don't need to be in working condition when exchanged for more efficient models. They will be recycled after trade-in.

The federal Recovery Act allocated $6.2 million to Massachusetts to administer an Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program designed to spur household energy savings by taking high energy consuming home appliances out of service and replacing them with qualified ENERGY STAR® models. Since appliances are among the heaviest energy users in most homes, the program is expected to yield significant annual energy savings for consumers who participate. Massachusetts delivered the first round of its Recovery Act-funded appliance program in 2010. More than 20,000 rebates were fulfilled, but not all of the funding was used. This created the need for the 2011 program.

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