5 On Your Side

Appliances fly off shelves as rebate program kicks off

Posted April 22, 2010

A federally funded rebate brought appliance shoppers to the stores Thursday.

— North Carolinians quickly snatched up deals Thursday, buying energy-efficient appliances at the rate of $2,000 a minute on the first of four days of a federally funded rebate program.

30 percent of appliance rebates claimed on first day 30 percent of appliance rebates claimed on first day

Consumers can get an instant 15 percent rebate off any Energy Star-qualified washer, dishwasher, freezer or refrigerator. The purchase must replace an existing appliance that will be thrown out, and buyers are allowed only one of any type of appliance.

"We're moving into a house that needed an update. Timing was perfect," said shopper Marilou Coggins, who took advantage of the rebate at the Lowe's store in Cary.

The first rebate was recorded at 12:04 a.m. for a washing machine bought at a midnight sale in Hickory.

Store manager Jason Locklear said that about 20 people were waiting outside when the Lowe's in Cary opened.

"It was pretty busy the first hour or so, and we've been steady ever since," Locklear said.

The rebate offer runs through Sunday unless the $8.8 million in federal stimulus funds for it runs out first.

Seth Effron, a spokesman for the North Carolina Energy Office, said late Thursday that sales have been far greater than program administrators expected, and the funds might run out. He estimated that between 49,000 and 50,000 appliances would have to be purchased to use up all of North Carolina’s allotted funds.

As of 9:45 p.m. Thursday, 41 percent of the fund had been used, leaving $4.7 million for more rebates. Effron said he expected a large portion of the money to go quickly, because many retailers took pre-orders that they placed Thursday morning.

Every retailer has access to the state's running tally of rebates, so they can see how much money is left in the fund.

Coggins said the quick response is one more reason she's glad she bought early. Three of the five appliances she bought qualified for the rebate, saving her nearly $1,000.

"It was pretty hefty. It does make a big difference," she said.


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  • Phlebotomia Apr 27, 2010

    I am so glad there is an awsome education system in place to teach our children so when the time comes they can take on the massive burden. Oh wait they cut those positions.. But dont worry at least you can keep food cold now!

  • laxmom516 Apr 23, 2010

    Don't you think the 8.8 million dollars could have been divided up and spent to keep some of the folks in the education system that are in danger of loosing their jobs??

  • tamiya_stars Apr 23, 2010

    So the program "only" cost around 8 million dollars. Lets say on the low end that a middle class family pays around $15,000 in federal income tax alone per year. That would mean a little over 500 families paid taxes the entire year to subsidize others appliance purchases in NC alone. I will never understand how anyone could with a straight face claim this is a more important use of that money than allowing the people who earned it to keep it to provide for themselves. All these "little" programs are no so little when you consider how many families paid taxes the entire year just to support them.

  • cary2006 Apr 23, 2010

    larieke: Woman saved $1000 on 3 appliances? That means the 3 cost $6666. Pretty high priced appliances, don't you think?

    Many store have discounts on top of 15%. Sears has a extra 30% off some items. So at sears, she would have spent $740 per appliance and got the $1000 in rebate

  • 68_polara Apr 23, 2010

    Look at Greece, that's exactly where we are headed.

  • Cricket at the lake Apr 23, 2010

    Oh, I forgot that President Obama said a few weeks ago that Americans can't afford to go to Las Vegas or buy a boat. Wonder what "cap and tax" will do for the marine industry? Maybe a surcharge because boats are a nonessential use of fossil fuels and need to have a "carbon tax" levied? Vote them all out this November and put in term limits.

  • 5Rs Apr 23, 2010

    Free money.

    And the sheep are responding.

    For those who say "it doesn't cost very much", the Government has hundreds of thousands of the "it doesn't cost very much", which when totaled up mean that we are a trillion and a hlaf in debt this spending year alone.

  • goodejrg Apr 23, 2010

    Other peoples money. Ya that is a great habit to get into

    Yea, the whopping 25 cents per person is really going to force people to tighten their belts...it's good to know that you're not willing to help your country..

  • Cricket at the lake Apr 23, 2010

    A good example of the government collecting our money and then being so very nice and letting us have a little bit back so we can buy something that they approve of. And it isn't like the money is sitting there ready to offset the cost of these appliances, "the govt." is either borrowing the money or printing it, it isn't there. And I sell boats. So how many boat sales did I lose last August when "cash for clunkers" was running? When is our gracious govt. going to have a "cash for 2 stroke outboard motor plan"? The govt. is picking and choosing what industries they are going prop up. We the people are the government and they work for us and spend our money recklessly!

  • imback Apr 23, 2010

    "It must truly be sad to be so full of ignorance and hate."

    Aww, so cute that the middle school is letting you use a computer today. Adults don't talk like this. Or least adults with an education.