SC appliance rebate program is first come, first served

For South Carolina residents who are making plans to purchase new, energy efficient appliances, rebates will be available beginning March 31st. A total of $3.9 million federal stimulus dollars will be available in the state for rebates ranging anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on the appliance being purchased.
You will also save on energy by simply replacing an old appliance with a new energy efficient appliance. According to Megan Herring, of the South Carolina Energy Office, the amount you save depends on what you buy. Herring says, “It’s all going to depend on the appliance that they already have in place, and their contractor may be able to help them with exact amounts. We know that the energy star models save between 10 and 50 percent of the energy or standard models that are used.”
Since the money is first come first serve, Herring says her office is eager to get the word out. “We’ve been lucky to have a lot of partners throughout the state as far as retailers, contractors, associations that deal with both, that we’ve been working closely with them for the last couple of months since our program was approved -to let them know what they need to do to be an approved vendor, and to also get the information out to their customers.”According to Herring, there are many resources that will assist the buyer with information: “The best resource that we have right now is the website. And on that website customers and vendors can locate a lot of information about the program, look for approved vendors in their area they can search by city, by zip code and also find out about the rebate information -what they have to do to get these rebates.”
Customers who purchase a new appliance must turn in the old item so that they can be recycled as required to ensure inefficient appliances are removed. Herring says rebate time depends on the appliance that is being purchased: “If they’re going to buy a clothes washer, dish washer, refrigerator or room air conditioning unit, those rebates will be instant at the point of sales. And for the contractors, they have the larger items, like the heat pumps and the gas furnace. Those will work similarly, because the contractor will go on line and reserve that amount so it will be locked in so the customer doesn’t have to worry about it. Then the customer gets the papers and mails them back into us and we mail them a check.”
The program begins on March 31st, and rebates will be available until the $3.9 million is all used up.