Appliance Rebates Gone in One Day

It didn't take long for the money to run out yesterday as millions of Texans reserved their federal rebates for buying new energy efficient appliances. Jack Williams reports.

If you did try to call to reserve a rebate, this is probably what you heard instead.

"We are experiencing unusually high call volumes. Please try your call again later. Goodbye."

It took less than 8 hours for residents to lay-claim to $23 million in rebates. Allen Spelce is with the Texas Comptroller's Office.

"We wish there were enough funds. It's a part of the Federal Stimulus program, so there was a limited amount of funds. We knew it was going to be popular and it's just unfortunate that all Texans couldn't participate into it, but it's basically a first-come, first-served basis."   

There is still hope if you missed out on the first wave of rebates. Officials expect some who reserved rebates to not
follow through and actually buy appliances, so there's now a waiting list.

"We're not for sure how many people will actually go purchase that appliance during the allotted period, so then we'll go to people on the wait list."

People who did reserve a rebate will be able to begin buying their new energy efficient appliances starting next Friday, April 16th.  

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...