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Low-Income Homeowners Qualify For Appliance Rebates

Ann Grim
 Rebecca Sweetland
10-51In Oregon 1-800-221-8035
Daniel and Dorene Wolfe  of Springfield were delighted to be able to purchase a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator recently, especially since it replaced a 19-year-old model that they felt “could die at any time.”  
The Wolfes didn’t anticipate that they could make the purchase this year, however. They are retired on fixed income and “just didn’t have the money to spend on such an expensive item.” Then they heard about the Oregon Department of Energy’s State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program for low-income Oregon homeowners and decided to look into it.
They purchased an ENERGY STAR 22-cubic-foot model and qualified for a 70 percent rebate.
“It’s great and so quiet,” said Dorene. It also uses considerably less energy. According to the US Department of Energy, a new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR label uses 40 percent less energy than a conventional 2001 model. The Wolfe’s old  refrigerator was manufactured in 1991, so their savings should be even greater.
The State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program is backed by $3.6 million of federal Recovery Act (stimulus) funds awarded to the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) by the US Department of Energy. On January 1, 2010, ODOE began to provide eligible low-income Oregon homeowners with a 70 percent reimbursement (up to $2,000) for ENERGY STAR heat pumps and furnaces purchased on or after January 1, 2010.
Effective July 1, 2010, the appliance program was expanded to include eligible low-income homeowners who purchase ENERGY STAR water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers and clothes washers. Purchases must be dated on or after July 1, 2010.
Eligible Oregonians are those who own their home and earn less than 60 percent of the state’s median income levels (see Income Guidelines). ODOE is partnering with the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services (OHCS).
“Those homeowners who believe they are eligible should first receive their rebate voucher that verifies their eligibility ,” said Rebecca Sweetland, ODOE Program Manager for the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program. “After purchasing the new ENERGY STAR appliance, this voucher then can be used to apply for their rebate check from the Oregon Department of Energy.”
Rebate vouchers are distributed on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Interested Oregon homeowners can contact OHCS 1-800-453-5511 (option 2, selection 4) to learn about the program and apply for the voucher. After purchase and installation of eligible ENERGY STAR appliances, qualified homeowners may redeem vouchers for 70 percent of the purchase price, up to a specified maximum. Old appliances must be legally recycled (not re-sold or re-used) in order to receive rebate funds.
For more information, see www.ohcs.state.or, call 1-800-453-5511 (option 2, selection 4) or e-mail appliancerebate@hcs.state.or.us.
Appliance Rebate Program maximum amounts for ENERGY STAR appliances (equipment only; no installation costs are allowed):
Furnace – 70% up to $2,000
Heat pump – 70% up to $2,000
Refrigerators – 70% up to $700
Electric heat pump water heater – 70% up to $1,400
Gas tankless water heater – 70% up to $1,200
Gas storage water heater – 70% up to $1,400
Dishwashers - 70% up to $400
Clothes washers – 70% up to $800