State launches 'Cash for Appliances' campaign

OLYMPIA — Many homeowners may not realize their appliances are a big energy drain and a drain on their wallet. Cash for Appliances Washington, now available throughout the state, offers consumers extra cash back to help them make the switch to a new energy-efficient refrigerator or clothes washer.

Pre-1993 refrigerators cost about $80 to run on average each year, compared to current ENERGY STAR® qualified models that cost as little as $30 annually (these figures are based an average-sized 1992 model vs. a new ENERGY STAR® model). Clothes washers that are more than 10 years old, add an extra $135 per year in utility costs compared to a new ENERGY STAR® qualified model.

In addition to obtaining extra cash back after purchase, participants will save money month after month on their utility bills.

Cash for Appliances Washington rebates are available until the funding -- $5.6 million -- runs out. (As of April 7, less than $130,000 in rebates had been issued).

The program offers $100 cash back on new, qualified ENERGY STAR® clothes washers and $75 on new ENERGY STAR® refrigerators when the old unit is recycled. These cash-back incentives are in addition to the incentives offered through Washington utilities for purchasing new and recycling old appliances.

“Washington has an objective to improve statewide per capita energy efficiency by 10% by 2012, towards a goal of 20% by 2020. We stimulate the appliance marketplace by offering consumers a good reason to purchase a new appliance. We reduce water and energy consumption which helps preserve the environment of our state, and consumers reduce their long-term energy bills,” Gov. Christine Gregoire said in a news release.

The program is expected to result in 15,000 fridges and 45,000 clothes washers being replaced by new efficient models, saving Washingtonians approximately $1,006,607 in energy costs, 355 million gallons of water and preventing 8,042 tons of CO2 annually.

“In addition to providing a nice incentive for consumers to switch to high-efficiency appliances, which in turn reduces their monthly utility bills, Cash for Appliances Washington is also providing a needed boost to retailers as they struggle through this slow economic recovery,” said Rogers Weed, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce.

All state households are eligible to receive one clothes washer and one refrigerator rebate. Consumers must buy their appliance from a retailer in Washington on or after March 15, 2010.

Additional information including eligibility requirements, qualified appliances as well as the application form and instructions are available at retailers or at This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce.