Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange begins and quickly runs out of funds

Time (and money) ran out in energy-sucking appliances rebate offer

As part of the Patrick-MurrayAdministration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state'seconomic future, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary IanBowles reminded consumers that yesterday, Thursday, April 22, marked thestart of the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange - a limited time,federal stimulus-funded opportunity to qualify for rebates of up to$250 per appliance on the purchase of energy-efficient refrigerators,dishwashers, clothes washers and freezers.

State rebate site crashes, empty

By late yesterday the number of shopper attempting to download rebate s at the state site crashed the system. As of this morning the site stated that there was $0.00 funds left. see the WCVB video here.

Fridge rebate effort freezes up

The state's appliance rebate program has been compared to last year's federal Cash for Clunkers automobile program, with rebates offered to consumers who replace old household appliances with energy-efficient ones.
   But the clunker in yesterday's Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange rebate program appears to have been the online registration, which was plagued with problems that prevented thousands from taking advantage of the rebates, as high as $250... Telegram.

Maybe Mr. Bowles should have more clearly defined what he meant by "limited time" because it turns both that both the time AND the funds were quite limited.

Unfortunately the 5,455,625.00 or so dollars the state had on hand for the plan ran out yesterday evening (see sidebar on right).

In fairness it should be stated that the Patrick Administration had said they were unsure about the level of interest in the buying public, and apparently they were correct in that concern.

Open only to Massachusetts households, the Department of EnergyResources' (DOER) Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange requires consumersto trade in old, inefficient models as part of their purchase.Consumers should also obtain rebate reservations either online or byphone before purchasing rebate-eligible appliances.

Consumers can makerebate reservations beginning at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 22 - and mustdo so to qualify for a rebate, even if stores are open and sellingrebate-eligible appliances before 10 a.m.

Visit for the online reservation form, phone number and other programdetails, such as eligible appliance models, participating Massachusettsretailers and rebate amounts.

"Consumers who take advantage of the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchangewill reap double savings - when they purchase the new appliance, andwhen they pay lower monthly utility bills for years to come." - Governor Deval Patrick

"With appliances consuming a lion's share of electricity in many homes, today marks the start of a great - but brief - opportunity," Governor Deval Patrick said. "Consumers who take advantage of the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange will reap double savings - when they purchase the new appliance, and when they pay lower monthly utility bills for years to come."

The federal stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by the President last year allocated $6.2 million to Massachusetts to administer an Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program designed to spur significant household energy savings by taking high energy consuming home appliances out of service and replacing them with qualified ENERGY STAR models. Since appliances are among the heaviest energy users in most homes, the program is expected to yield significant annual energy savings for consumers who participate - potentially cutting energy bills by hundreds of dollars if more than one appliance is replaced.

The Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange is a limited time only offer. Rebate reservations must be made and appliances purchased between April 22 and May 5, 2010. Funding is limited and rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is depleted. Old appliances must be working when exchanged for more efficient models, and will be picked up and hauled away for recycling when the new, efficient appliances are delivered.

The Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange will offer rebates of $250 for qualified dishwashers, $200 for qualified refrigerators, $175 for qualified clothes washers and $50 for qualified freezers. Consumers can qualify for up to four rebates - one on each appliance type.

Rebate steps include:

  • Starting on April 22, obtain reservation number(s) and rebate form(s) by visiting or calling 1-877-MA-SWAP-1 (627-9271) between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Customers who call the hotline can opt to receive rebate forms electronically or via mail. Make sure to get a printout of the rebate form.
  • Visit a pre-approved Massachusetts retail store (a list of stores can be found on the site).
  • Choose and purchase an eligible model (a complete list of eligible models can be found on the site).
  • Schedule delivery of new unit and removal of old unit with retailer.
  • Fill out rebate form that is pre-printed with your reservation number(s) on it.
  • When sending in completed application, include documentation necessary for verification purposes:
    • Rebate form with the pre-printed reservation number(s) (one for each appliance purchased)
    • A copy of sales receipt showing appliance was purchased during the time period of April 22 - May 5, 2010, and containing manufacturer, make and complete model number of the product, as well as store address and sales price for each product purchased;
    • A copy of a recent electric utility bill with account number for the installation address;
    • A copy of delivery document confirming pick up of old appliance(s).
  • Send completed rebate form for processing (address provided on rebate form) postmarked by June 19, 2010.

"Through the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange, approximately 27,000 inefficient appliances will be taken out of service, saving 2.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity - enough to power 340 households for a year," DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice said. "The Commonwealth is pleased to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy, Massachusetts public utilities and participating retail stores to make this happen."

Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange sponsoring utilities and energy efficiency service providers include Cape Light Compact, Western Massachusetts Electric Company, National Grid, NSTAR Electric and Unitil.

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