For Immediate Release - August 12, 2011

Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program Converts to Waitlist This Weekend

BOSTON - Friday, August 12, 2011 - Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today announced that the Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program is expected to roll into a wait list process this weekend, as participants have successfully expended most of the program's funding. The percentage of appliance rebate funds reserved through the program is currently at 88 percent or $229,850. The Energy Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program began on July 28 as part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to helping consumers reduce their energy use and costs, while stimulating retail sales.

Once program funds been depleted, the rebate program website will automatically notify customers that they may place their applications on a wait list. Customers may apply to the wait list via the rebate program website at www.massenergyrebates.com or the toll free call center at (877) 574-1128, which is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The wait list will be considered full once applications for $1 million in rebates have been placed on the list - at which time DOER will close the online and telephone application process. Once placed on the wait list begins, there is no guarantee an applicant will receive funds.

"Although a significant amount of rebate funding has already been reserved, there is still time to participate in this program, which helps homeowners, renters and businesses lock in long-term energy savings, while stimulating our local retail economy," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

DOER will continue to set aside a portion of rebate funds for residents in communities affected by the June 1 tornadoes. DOER previously allocated $100,000 of the $2 million rebate program to those affected by the severe storms in June and waived the old appliance return requirement for these customers. DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia noted that although tornado impacted customers will be placed on the wait list once the general funds are expended, their applications will be expedited and fulfilled through funds remaining in the $100,000 set aside. He added that these customers may participate in the rebate program now, but arrange with retailers to take delivery of their appliances at a later, more convenient time.

A follow-up to last year's Great Appliance Exchange, the Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program is open to all Massachusetts households, including those served by municipal light plants. 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. This year's program has a new design, which requires customers to buy before they apply and provides real-time information on how much funding is available. Both changes have allowed customers more certainty as they have followed the process.

"We encourage the public to continue to take advantage of these rebates until the funding is exhausted," said DOER Commissioner Sylvia. "By taking inefficient appliances out of circulation we all benefit from lower overall energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions."

Rebates are available on all ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerators (over 7.75 cubic feet) and room air conditioners, purchased on or after July 28, 2011. 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/or $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. (This additional Mass Save refrigerator rebate is available only through www.MassSave.com , not through this program.) Those served by municipal light plants (MLP) can check for any available appliance rebates with their MLP.

Prior to purchase, customers are encouraged to check how much rebate funding is available by going online to the rebate program website, www.MassEnergyRebates.com, where they'll be able to track the status of funds and their own rebate applications. There is also a customer service center available for those who don't have access to the website (877) 574-1128. In addition, retailers can provide customers with in-store, real-time status of funding.

Customers should follow the steps below to participate until funds are exhausted:

  • Customers can confirm the real-time availability of rebate funds via the program's website, the customer service phone line, or a registered retail location.
  • Customers purchase an eligible appliance before applying for a rebate.
  • Customers outside of the tornado zone who purchase a new ENERGY STAR® room air conditioner on or after July 28 must 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. This return/recycling component is waived for customers from tornado-impacted communities.
  • Customers who purchase a new ENERGY STAR® refrigerator on or after July 28 can accept delivery and have their old refrigerator removed at the same time. Those outside of the tornado zone must certify on their rebate application that their old refrigerator has been hauled away. Customers in tornado damaged areas may delay deliveries.
  • 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. The return/recycling component is waived for customers from tornado-impacted communities.
  • Receipt and progress of the application can be tracked online or via the service center.
  • Rebate payments will be sent via U.S. mail.

Customers should follow the steps below to participate in the waiting list:

  • Customers purchase an eligible appliance before applying for a rebate.
  • Customers outside of the tornado zone who purchase a new ENERGY STAR® room air conditioner on or after July 28 must 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. This return/recycling component is waived for customers from tornado-impacted communities.
  • Customers who purchase a new ENERGY STAR® refrigerator on or after July 28 can accept delivery and have their old refrigerator removed at the same time. Those outside of the tornado zone must certify on their rebate application that their old refrigerator has been hauled away.
  • Customer may add their names to the waiting list by applying for the rebate online or through the toll free number.
  • 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. The return/recycling component is waived for customers from tornado-impacted communities.
  • In the event additional funds become available, rebate applications will be processed in the order they are received and recipients will be notified via U.S. mail or email.
  • Receipt and progress of the application can be tracked online or via the service center.
  • Rebate payments will be 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, and will be recycled after trade-in.

The program is funded by a combination of a U.S. Department of Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, funding from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and funds available to promote energy efficiency from a nitrogen oxides 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.

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