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Maryland’s Cash for Appliances

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Energy StarHappy Earth Day!

Today marks the first day Maryland residents can take advantage of the Cash for Appliances program, known as the Maryland Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program.

There are three main pieces to the program – $100 for Energy Star Clothes Washers with a Modified Energy Factor of at least 2.0 and a Water Factor no greater than 6.0; a $50 rebate for Energy Star Refrigerators, at least 25% more efficient than the federal standard; and $300 for an Electric Heat Pump Water heater. You can work with your utility company to get the rebates.

Before you run out and buy an appliance, this rebate should not replace your breakeven analysis.

We replaced our ~30 year old A. O. Smith water heater about a month ago because it was leaking. We replaced it with a slightly more efficient electric water heater (gas is not available) that would save us a few hundred dollars a year in operating costs. At the time, we didn’t know when the Maryland Cash for Appliances program would start, many correctly guessed it would be around Earth Day, and we didn’t have the luxury of time.

I took a look at some heat pump electric water heaters and they were all priced around $1500 not including taxes and installation. The energy savings would be significant, about $500 over our old leaking water heater and a few hundred dollars over the new model. We estimated that it would take 5-6 years for the water heater to pay for itself, 4-5 if we were able to get the $300 rebate.

While we didn’t discuss it, my feeling was that 4-5 years is just outside the window of how long we intend to live in the home and with no clear sign that Cash for Appliances was near, we went with the more typical water heater. If we later decide that we’re going to be staying for a while, we can always replace our water heater with the heat pump because it would only push out the breakeven point by 2 years.

If your state is offering incentives like this, are you looking to replace a few older appliances?

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25 Responses to “Maryland’s Cash for Appliances”

  1. Please don’t tell me my tax dollars are being used for this type of boondoggle.

    • billsnider says:

      You got it right!

      My washing machine broke. I bought a new one. I got an erergy star rebate, a cash for clunkers rebate and they hauled away my old machine and gave me cash for it!

      Thanks for paying to incentivize me to buy something I would have bought anyway.

      Bill Snider

  2. zapeta says:

    Illinois did a similar program a couple weeks ago and the rebate money the state had set aside was claimed in 11 hours….so if you are going to jump on this program do it quickly!

  3. cubiclegeoff says:

    Massachusetts’ computer system for the rebates crashed. Some are saying the money is already gone (it started today).

  4. Ryan says:

    Do you have to show proof you live in the state, or do you just have to buy the appliance in the state?

  5. Mike Whaley says:

    Kentucky is doing the same thing, you might want to mention it as well.

  6. Dean says:

    Florida’s version of this burned through $17m in less than two days. I went to one of the biggest stores around here at noon on the first day, and they had NO MORE qualifying refrigerators.

    I’d say if you plan ahead to take advantage of it, you may want to go to your store of choice and try to reserve your appliance before the program start date. Then, have your sale “rung up” on the program start date.

    Also, scratch-and-dent somehow don’t qualify. There were lots of scratch and dent for a much better price than the after-rebate price. There for the taking, no waiting, no muss, no fuss…

  7. Mike says:

    I was able to get in on the Texas system. It also had problems and the money ran out quick.

    I am replacing my 20 yr old refrigerator. Getting $240 rebate for the refrigerator and $75 to recycle the old one.

  8. mikestreb says:

    Ohio’s went pretty quickly for the dishwashers and clothes washers. The refrigerators didn’t use all of the funds, so they are redistributing it to people on waiting lists for the dishwasher and clothes washer rebate.

  9. javi says:

    I was also lucky to get into the Texas rebate program. I am using the money to replace my washer.

  10. Wilma says:

    PA announced water heaters, boilers and furnaces only. Lots of disappointed Keystate citizens here. Bummer for me as my washer just started spewing oil on my cloths last week. It’s 15 years old and I was so looking forward to help on my purchase of a new washer. Could use a fridge too. Oh well, where’s the sales circulars? =)

  11. Alex says:

    this is the appliance bailout! I told my mother and grandmother about the deal.

  12. I am mixed on the Cash for Appliances idea. It’s great that some people are actually upgrading to a more energy efficient model. The only problem is that we often don’t upgrade to a model of the same size, but to one that is larger. That means that the larger appliance can end up using the same or sometimes more energy than the older appliance.

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      I think most of the appliances offered don’t really have the option for going too much larger. Most people’s houses will only fit a certain sized refrigerator, while washers and dryers are generally consistently sized. Water heaters on the other hand may be bought larger than is necessary.

  13. cubiclegeoff says:

    The program in Massachusetts was used up in less than 3 hours.

  14. eric says:

    Hmm..haven’t heard anything around me. I would do it.

  15. applezz13 says:

    I just had the heat pump water heater installed. How did you come up with your 4-5 year number? Mine was $2100 installed. Minus the $300 from MD and then the 30% tax credit ($630) my total out of pocket will be $1170. The standard electric water heater I was checking out would have cost around $800 installed. A $370 diffefence. Looks like a 2-3 break even point if not sooner.

    • Jim says:

      I think our difference is that I’m not eligible for the 30% tax credit because I already claimed the energy one a few years ago for window replacement. Otherwise we have similar numbers.

  16. applezz13 says:

    As an update on this item. I just opened my first electric bill for a whole month with it installed. I used 909 kWh for the June bill of 2010. During the June period of 2009 I used 1029 kWh. There were the same number of days in both billing periods. The average temp was 68 for 2010 and 64 for 2009, so I think there was also more AC usage this year than last. I will be very happy if I can maintain 100 kWh savings monthly, that will put me right at 3 years break even.

    As an aside I have also changed my electric supplier to Dominion’s 9.9 cent per kWh. This is my first electric bill in years that is under $150.

  17. jestjack says:

    Update….I installed one of the Geo Spring “heat pump” hot water heaters about 3 months ago. IMHO this is a “game changer”…bought the new “red one” (improved)…got it on sale from Lowes $1K…got 10% off that…installed it my self…got $300 back from our utility…will take energy credit on taxes. The savings are significant and were immediate…I’m guessing pay back of less than 2- 3 years as this should cut electric bill $300-$400 per year…A game changer….


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