Appliance rebates hot in Minnesota
A rebate program for refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and clothes washers ran on the hot cycle in Minnesota this week. The $5 million Trade-In and Save Appliance Rebate Program started Monday. By 9 a.m. Tuesday, all 25,400 rebate reservations...
A rebate program for refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and clothes washers ran on the hot cycle in Minnesota this week.
The $5 million Trade-In and Save Appliance Rebate Program started Monday. By 9 a.m. Tuesday, all 25,400 rebate reservations were claimed.
The waiting lists - in case some consumers don't submit for rebates within 30 days - consist of more than 10,000 names and are closed.
"We were certainly expecting the money to go quickly, but not in one day," said Marj Aakre, an employee of Rigels, a home appliance store in Moorhead.
"We had a great Monday sales day," she said. "I think Minnesotans like a good bargain. We're astute shoppers."
The rebate program, funded by federal stimulus dollars, gave up to $200 for replacing old appliances with Energy Star models.
While several customers were able to retain a rebate, Aakre said she also had several frustrated customers who couldn't get into the system.
The Minnesota rebate's Web site and phone line reportedly crashed. In a news release, the state Department of Commerce described the response to the program as "overwhelming."
Dave McCloskey, sales manager for Homemakers Villa in Moorhead, said his store has been busy, but he doesn't know what effect the rebate program will have on total sales.
"We're up right now, but we were down last month," he said. "A lot of people held off on their purchases last month, just for this rebate. Why wouldn't you?"
A total of $300 million was allocated to rebates on Energy Star-qualified appliances in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Each state was allowed to design its own program.
North Dakota's appliance rebate program is slated to begin April 1, with more than $600,000 available.
The $150 rebate is only for North Dakota residents who replace a full-size refrigerator with an energy-efficient refrigerator that is at least 7.75 cubic feet. Disposal of the old appliance must be documented.
The rebate Web site is currently being developed, said Jeff Rotenberger, energy program manager for the state.
"We have been getting pretty steady phone calls," he said. "From the conversations with other states, it sounds like the reception has been pretty strong. I don't think Minnesota's example is unique. I wouldn't be surprised if we have a strong turnout quickly."
Appliance rebate information
- In Minnesota: All rebates claimed. (877) 230-9119 or www.mnappliancerebate.com .
- In North Dakota: Scheduled to begin April 1, for replacement refrigerators only. (701) 328-5300 or www.ndenergystarrebate.com .
- Online: www.energysavers.gov .
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556