The appliance business in Washington state did not see the benefits some might have expected from the government’s appliance rebate program. The Tri-City Herald reports:
About 38,000 people around the state got checks from $75 to $750 for buying Energy Star-rated appliances and properly recycling the old ones said Rebecca Stillings with the state Department of Commerce.
But all the money had been applied for by Friday, November fifth she said.
The owner of one Tri-City business was glad to hear that.
“That’s good news for us,” said Steve O’Neill, owner of Master’s Appliance & Refrigeration in Pasco. “We saw a lot less used appliances coming through our shop.”
O’Neill’s store sells new and used appliances, and the rebate program meant fewer used appliances available for resale or to salvage for parts. (The rebate program requires the older be recycled.)
“It really only helped the people who could afford the newer, high-end ones,” O’Neill said. “If you had to buy used, it just drove up the price.”
O’Neill said he used to bring in a truckload of used appliances a day to refurbish or use as parts to rebuild other machines for resell in the store he’s owned for 10 years.
Now, it’s down to two or three truckloads a week.
Because the store sells new and used appliances, O’Neill saw both sides of the program.
“What we lost on the used stuff, we didn’t make up on the new ones we sold,” he said.
At Garrison’s Home Appliance Center in Kennewick, owner Henry Garrison said some customers obviously knew about the rebate program.
“I had some people and they only wanted the ones they can get some money back on,” he said.
The program wasn’t much of a hit at Bunch-Finnigan Appliances in Kennewick. Dan Bunch said most customers weren’t aware of the program, and weren’t interested when they heard about it.
“The requirements and regulations are too strict, and it’s complex,” Bunch said.
Bunch said he didn’t notice an increase in business during the rebate program.