Posts Tagged rebates

Washing Machine Rebates in Oregon August 2015

Posted by on Sunday, 9 August, 2015

Washing machine rebate programs are not widespread in every state, but they are available in Oregon. Once again, many Oregon municipalities are using the Energy Star standards to determine which washing machines qualify for the rebates. Energy Star ratings are available for other types of appliances as well, such as refrigerators, and these devices may also qualify for rebates. After looking over a few city websites, it looks like washing machine rebates are available in several Oregon cities for 2015.

After looking at a few rebate programs, it looks like the typical size of a washing machine rebate in Oregon is around $50. Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Sherwood have all announced $50 rebates. Ashland created an extra incentive with its rebate program. A $50 rebate applies when the home uses gas to heat water, but a home with an electric water heater could qualify for a $80 washing machine rebate. Ashland’s program appears relatively unique as other cities with rebate programs in Oregon and Southern California did not offer this incentive. On the other hand, some Southern California cities pay out a slightly larger rebate of $75 for “more efficient” Energy Star washing machines, which doesn’t seem typical for cities in Oregon.

It’s important to check whether a washing machine rebate program is active, since cities may shut down their programs for the year when funds are depleted. The rebate may become available again when the next fiscal year starts, which may not be on January 1, 2016 as some cities use modified calendars. The Hillsboro program appears to be active, although the page does not list dates. The Ashland program also appears to be active right now. The Sherwood program appears active and originally started in July 2012. The date does matter for the Beaverton program; rebates became available for purchases starting in July 2015 and the program lasts for a year or until funds run out. While cities often renew their rebate programs, this isn’t guaranteed.

State-wide or regional washing machine rebate programs may also apply to cities that do not list rebate programs on their own websites. For Oregon, the Energy Trust of Oregon also offers a washing machine rebate program. This non-profit offers a two-tier rebate model, offering a $50 rebate for all Energy Star Appliances and a $70 rebate for very efficient washing machines. To qualify for the extra $20, the washing machine must have a modified energy factor of at least 2.6, indicating high energy efficiency. This program does not seem to be using the other washing machine efficiency standard, integrated water factor, used by rebate programs in Southern California; the integrated water factor measures water usage and a lower number is better. However, washing machines with high integrated modified energy factors were designed for efficiency so they may have low integrated water factors as well. If an appliance qualifies for multiple rebate programs, such as a highly efficient washing machine, applying for the largest rebate available is usually the best decision; some rebate programs are not available to customers who have collected other rebates on the same item.

So the Energy Trust of Oregon appears to be an attractive option for a washing machine rebate in Oregon, both because of the availability of the $70 rebate and because rebates may not be available in every city. As a side note, it appears that shoppers who buy an energy-efficient washing machine from certain Sears stores in Oregon can automatically get the rebate without taking any other steps; however, the Energy Trust website only lists four stores where the program is in effect. Watch for other retailers that offer similar deals. The Energy Trust of Oregon washing machine rebate program also has a 60-day time limit after purchase for eligibility.

Southern California Washing Machine Rebates August 2015

Posted by on Sunday, 9 August, 2015

Utilities in Southern California are offering rebates on a variety of energy-efficient Energy Star appliances. Many of the sites with the most up-to-date details on these programs are the utilities themselves, including Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company. Some city governments also run their own rebate programs. I decided to focus on washing machine rebates to see which programs were currently active for August 2015.

The City of Malibu links to the SoCalGas site, which offers rebates for washing machines. An energy-efficient washing machine (Energy Star certified) is currently eligible for a $50 rebate, and very energy-efficient (most efficient) washing machines qualify for a $75 rebate. To qualify as most efficient, the washing machine needs an integrated modified energy factor of at least 2.74 and an integrated water factor of not more than 3.2. A $200 rebate for a cold water washing machine is also available from SoCalGas. In this case, SoCalGas offers the rebate for a specific Whirlpool model, the Cold Water Technology Washer.

The cold water washing machine is a top loading model with a capacity of 3.5 cubic feet. Whirlpool set a suggested retail price of $549 for this model, so the rebate provides a discount of around 36% from the sticker price.

The Energy Star site also provides statistics on washing machines that qualify for the $75 rebate. For comparison, the Whirlpool Duet Front-Load washer has an integrated modified energy factor of 2.75 and an integrated water factor of 3.2, meeting the most efficient standard. This washing machine has a capacity of 4.2 cubic feet and is available from Sears for $809. So the rebate only provides a discount of about 9% from the sticker price here. Many models qualify for the $50 rebate. About 173 washing machines meet at least one of the Energy Star standards as of August 2015.

As for the availability of the washing machine rebates, the suggested store list provided by SoCalGas shows a variety of locations stretching from Orange County to the Central Coast of California. So the rebates are available in many cities besides Malibu. The cold water washing machine is available at stores in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, as well as Irvine and Westminster. Cities between these locations, such as Los Angeles, Oxnard, and Santa Barbara, also sell energy-efficient washing machines that qualify for the rebates.

Water districts in Southern California may also provide rebates for efficient washing machines. The San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has been offering a $150 rebate since mid-2013 for people who live in Alhambra, Sierra Madre, Monterey Park, and part of Azusa. The utility also made a more recent announcement that could indicate that the program will be around for a while. On June 24, 2015, the water district announced that it had received a $231,915 grant that will help it provide rebates, including rebates on water efficient washing machines, to more of its customers. This was one of 22 grants, so other municipal water districts may have received more cash for efficient washing machine rebates in June 2015 as well.

The Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power also offers energy-efficient washing machine rebates in several locations. Appliances qualifying under this program must have a water factor below 3.7, more than the 3.2 factor used by SoCalGas. So an appliance that does not meet the SoCalGas efficiency standard might still qualify for a rebate from LA County. The county is offering $100 rebates, which would provide about 12.5% off on a $800 washing machine. Washing machine buyers have to apply for rebates, and the process is different depending on where a buyer lives; the rebate application process occurs online for residents of Malibu, Marina Del Rey, and Topanga but involves mailing in an application for people who live in Acton, Antelope Valley, Kagel Canyon, and Val Verde.

Efficient washing machine rebates are also available in San Diego. The city website notes that SoCalWater$mart is offering washing machine rebates that start at $85. SoCalWater$mart is run by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a wholesale water supplier that delivers water to a large number of municipal and city water districts in Southern California. This wholesaler handles water for utilities between Ventura County and San Diego, so it has a large operating range. The City of San Diego also explains that rebate funds for this program are limited, so to qualify for the SoCalWater$mart rebate a person must obtain a rebate reservation number before purchasing an energy-efficient washing machine. Because of the wide range of this wholesaler, rebate applications under this program could be coming from many locations in Southern California.

So as of August 2015, rebates for energy-efficient washing machines were available from water and gas utilities, as well as a regional water wholesaler. The SoCalGas $200 rebate appears to be the best deal, while the SoCalWater$mart rebate may have the widest availability while funds last.

Delaware Renewable Energy Grants

Posted by on Saturday, 22 May, 2010

The State of Delaware provides funding to citizens to set up generators of renewable energy, partially funded by the ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is the federal support for state programs. Delaware organizations offer several types of grants, some for much larger amounts than the appliance rebates and retrofits which are available elsewhere.

Delaware’s Renewable Resource Program provides funding for installing a source of renewable energy in a business, a home, or as a town or city project. The business limits are larger, with the state offering a grant as high as $30,000 for building solar panels or wind turbines. Residential limits are lower, although some of the installations may receive as much as $15,000. Compare this to the $300 appliance rebates and the sales tax exemptions of other states, this is huge.

The Renewable Resource Program is 1/3 matching funds, which means that the homeowner or the business has to pay the other 2/3 of the cost for installing geothermal heat pumps or other machinery. Changing the cost of a homeowner’s solar array from $45,000 to $30,000 shortens the payback period quite a bit and a grant of this size can change a project from a net loss to a net gain. For example, if a company calculates it will lose $20,000 by installing wind turbines, the grant can change that to a $10,000 gain. The catch is that Delaware grants for green energy installations will take about three years before the state pays out the grant money, which requires a sizable investment up front. An accountant will also remember that you have to discount any payment according to the rate of return you could receive in another investment. For example, you invest $30,000 at 10% and make $3,000 interest in one year, $3,300 in two years, and $3,330 in three years, a total of $9,630. Subtracting $9,630 from $30,000 still gives a gain of $20,370, and the gain is higher if you would be receiving less than 10% on your investments.

Delaware also offers rebates, including rebates for efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescents and LCDs. The State of Delaware offers an extension of the lighting rebate program, to the end of August. State rebate programs may not officially end on their original posting date. If the state still has funds left to provide rebates or grants, they can decide to extend the program, since they are in charge of distribution of the money. Of course, states may also shut down a program early if it becomes too popular and the state gives out all of the rebate money quickly, so quick submission of grant and rebate applications is important.