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Appliance Rebates for Virginia Residents ! Act Fast…

Starting Wednesday, Virginia will launch its version of the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, funded through the federal stimulus package.

For a new electric heat pump, consumers can get $300 back. Those who buy a washing machine can receive a $75 rebate. Purchases of energy-saving gas furnaces, water heaters and refrigerators also qualify for cash. All appliances must meet federal Energy Star standards for efficiency.

Consumers who want one of the rebates should act fast. If other states’ experiences and prior rebate programs in Virginia are any indication, the cash for appliances will run out quickly.

Virginia received $7.45 million for its program, overseen by the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The department expects the funding to provide 41,398 rebates.

Starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, consumers can reserve a rebate on the department’s website. The department will take reservations online only and will approve applications in the order they are received.

Once the rebate is reserved, the consumer has 60 days to purchase the appliance, then must provide documentation to the state to claim the money. The department processes the redemption forms and mails the rebate check, which can take an additional six to eight weeks, Christopher said.

The department will start a wait list once the reservations deplete the available funds. Money left over from unredeemed reservations will trickle down to those on the list.

For natural gas appliances such as furnaces and water heaters, Hampton Roads consumers don’t have to wait until Wednesday to apply for rebates.

Virginia Natural Gas and Columbia Gas of Virginia, the natural gas providers in the region, have their own rebate programs for energy-efficient gas appliances and will use the federal funds to supplement and extend them to more customers.

The state’s cash-for-appliances website will direct VNG and Columbia Gas customers to their sites to apply for rebates.

In January 2009, VNG began offering rebates of $500 for a high-efficiency furnace, $500 for a tankless water heater and $150 for a tank water heater.

Columbia Gas’ rebates, which began in January, are $300 for a furnace, $300 for a tankless water heater and $50 for a tank water heater.

In conjunction with the federal program, many appliance manufacturers are offering rebates on Energy Star appliances, said Rob Nicholson, president of East Coast Appliance & Electronics. He plans to run a sale, with discounts of 20 percent on high-efficiency items, at East Coast’s four Hampton Roads stores.

Home Depot also is taking 10 percent off appliances priced $398 or more to coincide with the federal rebates

Click here for more information on the rebate

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