'Cash for clunker' appliances coming to Montana

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2009 1:36 PM

A federal program offering rebates for energy saving major appliances is coming to Montana next spring.

The state's share of the $300 million national program is $928,000, which is enough for about 9,700 rebates. The state plans to pay $100 for new refrigerators and washing machines, $70 for freezers and $50 for dishwashers. The new purchases must be "Energy Star" rated.

"I think it's a great recovery act program for the average consumer, and will be stimulative to the industry, too," said Brian Green, energy program manager for the Department of Environmental Quality. "It's a good program for consumers to make their homes more energy efficient."

A few states have already launched their "Cash for Appliances" programs. Montana will solicit bids in January for a contractor, such as a rebate-fulfillment firm, to run the program, Green said.

"We'd like to have been able to offer it sooner, but it just takes time to get the plan approved and do the solicitation for the rebate contractor," he said.

The rebate program should begin in April.

The plan is targeted to consumers, and not for appliances used commercially or installed in new construction.

The state rebate would be in addition to any utility company rebates. Several co-ops, including Flathead, Yellowstone and Ravalli have smaller appliance rebates.