Cash for Clunker-Dishwashers

No, it's not an April Fools joke. The federal government will give Texas residents up to 1600 dollars to switch out their old appliances for new, energy efficient models. But there are a couple of hoops to jump through. From the KUHF NewsLab, Melissa Galvez has more.

"These top two drawers right here, you can actually raise or lower the temperature. Of course, if you raise the temperature, it's going to use less energy."

If you're in the market for a new refrigerator, Brian Nehls, at Lowe's Home Improvement at Gulfgate, will show you this nifty white model with French doors.  It's Energy Star qualified, which means it's designed to save electricity and water.  He compares the kilowatts it uses to a smaller refrigerator.

"This one is 21 cubic feet."
"Ok, so 21 cubic feet and it uses 525…"
"This one is 26 cubic feet, and this one uses 462.  It's bigger, and it uses less kilowatts."

It's also more expensive.  But this April, the Texas Comptroller's Office is using federal stimulus money to provide rebates of $45 to $1600 on energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and dish washers.  State Representative Carol Alvarado says that one goal of the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate program is to kick start the economy through consumer spending.  Another is to encourage energy efficiency.

"We consume so much energy but if we can learn to shop smarter and consume smarter, then we're contributing to the overall goal of doing everything in an environmentally friendly manner."

She says it's also good for consumers.

"It's a good deal. I don't think you're going to see another deal like this for consumers. It gives them an opportunity to get rid of their old appliances that are eating up a lot of energy, and giving them a larger electricity bill. They can take advantage of all these bargains."

On Wednesday, April 7th, Texas residents can start applying for a rebate by phone or on the internet. They'll have to buy their appliance between April 16th and the 25th.  Only two rebates are allowed per household, and you have to replace an old machine-but you'll get an extra rebate if you recycle it.

Some customers were not that impressed with the energy efficiency rebate idea.  Here's William Carter:

"I really don't care if it's energy star or not, I buy what I want. My old refrigerator is ancient and I don't have water or ice on the outside of the refrigerator."

But then, Brian Nehls will have something for them, too.

"This one right here, it actually has two ice makers as well. Say you're having a party, you can actually pop it out and put it on your table. Comes with a little scooper. Very cool."

For more information or for a rebate, visit Texas Trade Up Rebate.

From the KUHF NewsLab, I'm Melissa Galvez