ARRA Created Appliance Replacement Program to Reduce Home Energy Costs in Low-Income Households
Topeka, KS – December 8, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) has launched a new appliance rebate program that rewards low-income households for replacing old, electricity-guzzling household appliances with new energy efficient models. The State Energy Efficient Appliance Replacement Program, or SEEARP, provides rebates to consumers who purchase ENERGY STAR® refrigerators, clothes washers, freezers, dishwashers and window air conditioners. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, SEEARP will provide $2.6 million for the replacement of an estimated 4800 appliances.
“Switching to new energy efficient appliances will do more than put cash in consumers’ hands,” said Gary Allsup, KHRC’s Executive Director. “This program will help Kansas families save monthly energy costs, make homes safer, and stimulate the local economy.”
Rebates for the high-efficiency appliances will range from $200 to $800. New appliances will qualify only if they have earned the ENERGY STAR® label. Old appliances to be recycled must be at least ten-years-old. For each appliance replaced, an appliance must be surrendered for recycle. Point-of-sale rebates will be made directly to participating retailers.
The goal of the program is to serve low-income households particularly vulnerable to high energy costs, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, and households with a high-energy burden. The program will help to:
• increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons
• reduce the total monthly residential expenditures related to energy consumption
• improve the consumer’s health, safety, and well-being
• educate consumers to make informed decisions regarding energy use and conservation
SEEARP is designed after another successful energy-efficiency initiative launched by KHRC earlier this year called the Residential Appliance Replacement (RAR) Program. This initiative, funded by the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, converted a $4 million dollar investment into nearly $19 million in lifetime energy savings for low-income families.*
Although RAR has ended, KHRC still has nearly 1500 applications for services. The data base of eligible customers generated as the result of the recent RAR program will be used to initiate SEEARP.
Consumers who applied for RAR, but were not serviced due to application cut-off dates and/or lack of funding, will be contacted by mail to determine interest in the new appliance rebate program. These consumers will have until 5pm on January 15th, 2010 to complete and return applications to KHRC for the new SEEARP program. After January 19th, 2010, if funding is still available, KHRC will open the application process to new low-income applicants. Program eligibility will be determined by a first-come, first-served basis.
KHRC will mail rebate vouchers to qualifying consumers, who may take the vouchers to participating retailers. Retailers honor the voucher as cash for the new appliance. After the retailer has delivered the new appliance and properly disposed of the old unit, they may then submit the rebate for reimbursement. KHRC will review all submitted documents to ensure program requirements have been met. Once approved, KHRC will make payment directly to the retailer.
Note to Retailers: SEEARP rebate vouchers may cover appliance and delivery costs. However, SEEARP does not provide payment for installation charges.
Rebate vouchers will not be issued until after January 15th, 2010.
SEEARP will be administered within the existing structure of the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. These programs are funded by U.S Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, respectively. Both programs serve low-income individuals and families. For more information, please call our recorded information line at 785-296-8440 or visit KHRC’s website at www.kshousingcorp.org.
*Lifetime energy savings, calculated by using U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency calculators, are based on current energy rates. Actual savings may vary.