For Immediate Release - July 27, 2011

Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program Launches Thursday

BOSTON - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today reminded residents the Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program kicks-off this Thursday, July 28. The program is part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to helping homeowners and renters reduce their energy use, while stimulating retail sales.

A follow-up to last year's Great Appliance Exchange, the new 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 are expected to give customers more certainty as they follow the process.

"Energy saving appliances cut long-term energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while stimulating our local economy with retail sales," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

DOER reminded customers a call center for questions about the program is now open to supplement the program's website for those unable to access the Internet.

"We encourage the public to take advantage of these rebates designed to increase energy efficiency and help reduce energy costs," said DOER Commissioner Sylvia.

Rebates will be 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 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 in-store, real-time status of funding.

On June 20, Secretary Sullivan directed DOER to dedicate $100,000 under the Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program for residents of cities and towns hit by devastating tornados in June. Sullivan directed DOER to revamp the program to make it responsive to the needs of people whose homes and belongings - including, in many cases, appliances - were damaged or destroyed. As a result, DOER is waiving appliance turn-in requirements and setting aside $100,000 of the $2 million rebate pool for residents of the tornado-impacted areas.

Customers should 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 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 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.

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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