State prepares for rush on federal appliance rebate program



Posted on March 29, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 29 at 7:43 PM

Texas is gearing up for a massive rush on a federal rebate program. The State Comptroller's office has millions of dollars just waiting to be handed out to those buying new appliances.

Jason Senagal is in the market for a new washer and dryer -- and he's just hearing about the Texas Trade Up Rebate program. It's like cash for clunkers, but this time, you get to trade in certain appliances.

"I haven't seen anything about it until I came in," Senegal said. "That's a pretty good deal, a great offer, especially when starting a new household."

Texas received more than $23 million to take part in the program, and on Monday the State Comptroller's office released a special phone number and website so consumers can prepare to make reservations to get their piece of the pie.

Giant Discount Appliance owner Min Choe says he can't wait for the program to begin.

"We've been preparing for the program for a couple of months now," he said.  "We think this is going to be a big economy booster for us and for everyone in the appliance industry."

The list of appliances eligible under the program include:

  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Room air conditioners
  • Central air conditioners (including heating and ventilation)
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Water heaters

There are two rebates allowed per household -- and you must replace and recycle the old appliance. The mail-in rebate will only apply to purchases made between April 16 and April 25.

The phone number for the Texas Trade Up Appliance Program is 1-877-780-3039.

But don't run to make those reservations just yet.  While the phone number and website have been released, consumers won't be able to make reservations until April 5. If the state runs out of rebate vouchers, consumers will be put on a waiting list.