North Carolina shoppers only have four days to take advantage of a "Cash for Appliances" program offering 15% off new Energy Star appliances. Some local retailers are staying open longer and offering extra discounts to cash in on the anticipated rush.
North Carolina chose Earth Day to kick off the NC Energy Efficient Appliance Replacement and Rebate Program. The program offers North Carolina residents a 15% instant savings when they purchase new Energy Star clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators & freezers to replace old appliances. That means that an appliance that normally costs $500 will only cost $425. Shoppers will have to hurry to take advantage of the savings though. The program only runs from Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, April 25, 2010.
The so-called "Cash for Appliances" program is similar to its predecessor, "Cash for Clunkers." The $8.8 million North Carolina program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Each state decided how to distribute their allotted funds. This program is designed to stimulate the economy with sales of new appliances and create energy savings by getting Americans to trade older appliances for newer, more energy efficient models.
"Appliances consume a huge amount of our electricity, so there's enormous potential to both save energy and save families money every month," said Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press release. "These rebates will help families make the transition to more efficient appliances, making purchases that will directly stimulate the economy and create jobs."
North Carolina's program is similar to a program Florida launched last week. Florida planned for its program to last 10 days, but after the second day, the $17.5 million it allotted for the program had been exhausted. Florida's program offered 20% off the purchase of new energy efficient appliances. That means that Floridians spent $87.5 million on appliances in just two days. That means North Carolina shoppers may want to get out and take advantage of the offer sooner, rather than later.
Local appliance retailers are anticipating many more shoppers than usual, thanks to the program. Some are planning extended hours to accommodate the rush and others are even offering additional savings.
"I think a lot of people have been aware of the program and they've been looking ahead," Mindy Hughes of Crossroads Appliance Center in Supply told the Wilmington Star-News. Her store launched an advertising campaign about the rebate last month. "We've got a couple of remodels that have been sparked off by this program, which is great for us. Once they get one new item, they look at remodeling the whole kitchen." Hughes is planning on opening her store an hour early and staying open as late as necessary to serve her customers.
Atlantic Appliance is normally open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. Instead, it will stay open until 8 p.m. these days. It will still be closed on Sunday.
Just across from Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty's main office, retailer hhgregg in Mayfaire Town Center will be open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday thru Saturday. It's also offering 30% off Energy Star appliances those days. The store is also open Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., but some anticipate the funds for the "Cash for Appliances" program may be exhausted by then.
Lowe's and Home Depot are offering an additional 10% off Energy Star appliances more than $398. Both retailers are open Thursday thru Saturday 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-8 p.m, though Home Depot will open at 5 a.m. Thursday.
Thru Saturday, Sears is offering 30% off Energy Star appliances, in addition to the 15% "Cash for Appliances" savings. Its store hours vary by location.
To qualify for the North Carolina "Cash for Appliances" program, Energy Star clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators & freezers must be replacing an older appliance that will be recycled. Sales tax will be applied to the price of the appliance prior to the 15% instant rebate. Buyers must be North Carolina residents and purchase the new appliances from a participating North Carolina retailer. For more information on NC Energy Efficient Appliance Replacement and Rebate Program, please visit ncappliancerebate.com.
Participating retailers in our area are: