Rebates will be available for purchases starting May 24 from 35 retailers throughout the state, and end June 23, unless the allocated money runs out before that date. There is enough money for about 10,000 rebates. The state will allocate each retailer a specific number of mail-in rebate applications so that purchases and rebates won't exceed rebate funds. If one retailer runs out of applications, it's possible another may still have some.
Modeled after last year's Cash for Clunker Cars, this time the states can choose which appliances qualify. Hawaii is in the forefront of energy-efficient measures, and officials hope this will be one more step toward energy independence for the state. Also, a side benefit should be a boost in sales for appliance retailers.
The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said fridges account for the largest portion of household energy bills after electric water heaters and air conditioners.
Here are some startling figures from the Advertiser:
- If 10,000 old refrigerators are replaced by energy-efficient models that use 50 percent less energy, it would save about 100,000 barrels of oil and 7 million pounds of carbon emissions over the life of the fridges, the state said.
- A 10-year-old fridge uses 63 gallons of oil every year. A new fridge will save 28 gallons of oil annually, with the electricity cost savings ranging from $80 to $90 a year. Ray Starling, manager of the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program, said the savings for consumers can add up to $1,700 to $2,000 over the lifetime of a fridge at present electricity rates — or more if rates rise.
- At $250, the rebate can amount to 25 percent or more off the cost of a new moderately priced fridge meeting energy efficiency qualifications.
If you have thought of replacing your Hawaii Kai refrigerator, now is the time. And if you are thinking of selling, a new Energy Star appliance will certainly add to the home's value.