June 23, 2017

Archives for February 2010

Getting Your Government Funded Appliance Rebate

The good news is  that the US Government’s appliance rebate program has finally begun.  The bad news is that you have a bit of footwork to do before you get it.

Under the federal program, the rebates can go to buyers of new central air conditioners, room air conditioners, heat pumps, boilers, furnaces, washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, and water heaters with the Energy Star seal.  Also, it doesn’t matter how old your clunker appliance is, it needn’t be in working order and, in some states, such as Arizona and Florida, you won’t even need to trade it in.

The tricky part is that each state will run its program differently, deciding which of the possible products it will include in the program, when to start and stop offering rebates, the size of the rebates, and which residents will qualify. In Minnesota, for instance, only washers, dishwashers, freezers and refrigerators are covered. The refrigerator rebate is worth up to $100 in Nebraska, but no more than $50 in Georgia. The Alaskan program is limited to residents receiving disability payments from the state or federal government. In Kansas and Oregon, rebates are restricted to low-income people. States have until February 2012 to allocate their rebate money, but the programs will likely expire long before then. Some will last only a week.

Eight states (Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin) have launched their appliance programs, at least for some products, to capitalize on President’s Weekend appliance sales. The rest are likely to rev up by May, many around Earth Day in April. You can find the rules for your state’s program at Energy Star Web site.

More details to be aware of courtesy of CBSNews.com:

Energy Star appliances can cost $50 to $100 more, on average, than ones that don’t. But the appliance should pay for itself over five or six years through savings on your utility bill. In some cases, your savings come faster. Replacing a washer made before 2000 with a new Energy Star model, for example, can save up to $135 a year, according to the Department of Energy.

• Only 55 percent of new major appliances have the Energy Star label. So you might not be able to get the rebate on the product you want to buy.

• You might not actually get cash. Although some states will issue rebate checks, many will instead give out prepaid cards issued by Visa or MasterCard.

• Unlike “Cash for Clunkers,” where dealers handled all the paperwork, in most states you have to deal with the forms to get your rebate. That means mailing in your receipt, along with proof of residency, a rebate form from the retailer or your state energy department web site, and usually proof that your clunker appliance was picked up.

• It’ll take roughly four to six weeks to get the rebate.

Before you shop:

1. Drill down into the details of your state’s plan. Some states have rigorous requirements about which products qualify, beyond the Energy Star stamp. Others are rolling out their programs in two phases.
Minnesota and Texas let consumers reserve rebates online or by calling a toll-free number about two weeks before they buy. Check online to see if your state has rebate funds left. Some state sites provide an up-to-date tally of the amount left in the kitty.

2. Make sure the retailer you plan to visit is participating. Some small dealers are sitting out because they’ve decided the program is too costly. In Georgia, online purchases won’t qualify.

3. Learn the precise rebate amount for the appliance you’ll buy. You may encounter unexpected twists. In New York’s “Great Appliance Swap-Out,” consumers get rebates for buying eligible appliances individually or in a bundle of three, where the rebate may be larger.

4. See if you’ll get a recycling bonus. Some states boost the rebate by $25 to $75 if you recycle your old appliance.

5. Ask about additional deals. There’s a good chance your new appliance is also eligible for a manufacturer’s rebate or store promotion, too. You may also be able to combine a state rebate with the federal one. Call your local utility to see if it is dangling rebates, too. Often, utilities offer $50 off new energy-conserving appliances. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency is a good place to do your research.

6. Apply for the rebate as soon as you can. Some retailers have in-store computer kiosks where customers can apply for rebates on the spot. In Georgia and New York, as soon as you’ve bought a qualifying appliance, you can reserve a rebate either online or by calling a toll-free number. Since states will halt their programs when their money runs out, you won’t want to conserve your energy when it comes to applying for rebates.

Laundering Without Water – Almost

Is this really the environmentally correct alternative?  This idea was found at popsci.com:

Clean Your Clothes with Plastic: Nylon beads sit in the outer of two nested drums. When both drums rotate, the absorbent beads fall through the mesh of the inner drum to tumble with your laundry, where they dislodge and trap dirt. After the wash cycle finishes, the outer drum stops moving and centripetal force pushes the beads back through the mesh into the outer drum, where they await your next mess.

Xeros’s prototype washing machine uses 90 percent less water than ordinary models, which also eliminates energy-intensive spin cycles and dryer blasts.

The machine replaces all but one tenth of the usual water and about one third of the usual detergent with 0.1-inch plastic beads, reusable for hundreds of washes. The beads are made of the same nylon as many carpets, because the properties that make nylon easy to stain also make it a great scrubber: Its polarized molecules attract soil, and in the humidity created by a little water, the polymer chains separate slightly to absorb grime and lock it into the beads’ cores.

Xeros aims to put machines in commercial laundries next year, where they will use eight gallons of water instead of 80 for each 45-pound load. They may be cleaning your favorite T-shirts at home within several years.

Recall: BSH Home Appliances Corp. Expands Recall of Thermador Built-In Ovens Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Thermador® Built-In Ovens

Units: About 37,000 (42,000 built-in ovens were previously recalled in June 2007)

Manufacturer: BSH Home Appliances Corp., of Huntington Beach, Calif.

Hazard: The ovens can have gaps in the insulation where overheating can occur and when used in the self-cleaning mode it can cause nearby cabinets to catch fire. This poses a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: BSH Home Appliances has received three additional reports of incidents, including two that resulted in fires that damaged surrounding cabinets. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recall involves Thermador Brand built-in double ovens with model numbers C272B, C302B, SEC272, SEC302, SECD272 and SECD302 and serial numbers between FD8403 through FD8701. Model and serial numbers are located on the underside of the control panel.

Sold at: Appliance and specialty stores nationwide from June 2004 through July 2007 for between $3,000 and $4,400.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the oven’s self-cleaning mode and contact the firm to schedule an inspection and free repair, if necessary.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Thermador at (800) 701-5230 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.thermador.com

Picture of Recalled Built-In Oven

Miele Part of the US Appliance Rebate Program

Miele has announced that all of its dishwashers, clothes washers and refrigerators/freezers qualify for the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP). According to the Department of Energy, the stimulus bill will offer $300 million in rebates on Energy Star-qualified appliances in hopes that the program will further stimulate the economy by reducing energy bills.

Miele’s entire Independence series is Energy Star-qualified, including the line’s refrigerators, which traditionally are one of the most energy-hungry appliances in the home. The refrigerators use high-performance dual compressors, improved insulation and more precise temperature and defrost technology to boost efficiency. “Achieving a greener refrigerator that complied with Energy Star was a design goal when we developed the Independence Series,” stated Matthew Kueny, senior product manager for Miele. “Our proprietary technology and quality standards have helped us redefine just how much energy a refrigerator could save–far more than an average refrigerator–or even an average Energy Star model.”

Going forward, Miele engineers are looking to develop technology that will enable appliances to work more intelligently with the emerging infrastructure of the Smart Grid. These advancements are intended to deliver further economic and environmental benefits to consumers.

For more on appliance rebates, consumers can contact the DOE Recovery Act Clearinghouse at 1-888-DOE-RCVY (1-888-363-7289) or visit the Energy Star website.

The Appliance Rebates Have Begun

According to TWICE, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved plans and awarded funding to 50 states and territories for rebates on Energy Star-qualified appliances under its State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP).

The appliance equivalent of “cash for clunkers” has been allocated $300 million in stimulus funds, which will provide consumers with rebates of between $50 and $200 on energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners and water heaters.

The stimulus effort is expected to boost white-goods sales by as much as 20 percent, industry executives have said.

Unlike the auto industry program, trade-ins are not federally mandated under the “Cash for Appliances” effort, although the DOE is encouraging states to incorporate recycling into their programs in an effort to rid the energy grid of old “clunker” appliances.

But the biggest — and most problematic — difference is the state-level implementation, which has resulted in a nationwide patchwork of rules, stipulations and start dates, and an administrative challenge for manufacturers and national and multiregional chains.

For example, several states are limiting their programs to low-income or rural applicants, while others are restricting their rebates to heating and cooling appliances. And many states, such as California and Ohio, require recycling of “clunker” appliances, and others like Florida and Illinois will provide an additional rebate for consumers who dispose of their old appliances in a responsible manner.

To help consumers navigate the maze of varying requirements, dealers are bringing sales associates up to speed on their respective state’s plans, and both retailers and vendors have created dedicated Web sites, such as Sears.com/energystar, that provide program details, tracking tools and links to DOE’s informational site, www.energysavers.gov/rebates.

Specifically, Sears’ sales associates and Web site will:

  • send email notifications to registered customers when state programs go “live”;

  • offer details on the individual state rebate programs, including when and how much will be available, and any guidelines that may apply; and

  • assist consumers with the responsible removal and disposal of their old appliances, as needed.

Similarly, Bosch, the premium majap manufacturer, has created a Bosch Rebate Resource Center site at www.boschappliancerebates.com.

The Energy Department is expected to approve SEEARP plans submitted by all 56 U.S. states and territories, with the first major marketing campaign likely to launch by Presidents Day weekend.

Consumers will be able to receive existent Energy Star rebates in addition to the Cash for Appliance subsidies.

States receiving the most majap stimulus funding include California ($35.3 million), New York ($18.7 million) and Florida ($17.6 million).

Recall: Liebherr Built-In Refrigerators Due to Injury Hazard

Name of Product: Liebherr Built-In 24-Inch Wide Single Door Refrigerators

Units: About 2,700

Importer: Liebherr-Canada Ltd of Ontario, Canada

Manufacturer: Liebherr-Hausgeraete Ochsenhausen GmbH, of Germany

Hazard: The refrigerator’s door can detach, posing an injury hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Liebherr has received 13 reports of doors detaching, including two reports of injuries involving bruising and strains.

Description: This recall involves Liebherr built-in 24-inch wide single door refrigerators with model numbers R1400, RI1400, RB1400, and RBI1400 sold individually or as a component of side-by-side refrigerators. The refrigerators come in stainless steel and various custom finishes and are built into the kitchen cabinetry. “Liebherr” is written on the top interior control panel. The model number can be found on a label located behind the bottom drawer on the left interior side of the single door refrigerator. The side-by-side refrigerators were marketed as model numbers SBS240, SBS24 I0, SBS245, SBS24I5. This model number is not found on the product.

Sold by: Appliance and specialty retailers nationwide from January 2005 through November 2009 for between $2,500 and $3,200.

Manufactured in: Germany

Remedy: Consumers with recalled refrigerators should contact Liebherr immediately to schedule a free in-home repair. Consumers should check their refrigerator immediately to see whether the door hinge pin has become loose (see below). If the hinge has not become loose and the door is functioning properly, consumers may continue to use the refrigerator until it is repaired.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Liebherr toll-free at (877) 337-2653 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT or visit Liebherr’s Web site at www.liebherr-appliances.com