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Volume xviii, Issue 10 ~ March 11 - March 17, 2010

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Cash in Your Clunker Appliances

For biggest bucks, shop now, buy later

by Margaret Tearman

Here’s a good reason to dump your old, energy-gobbling electric water heaters, refrigerators and washing machines for new energy efficient models: cold cash.

Maryland will be receiving $5.4 million in federal stimulus money as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s efficient appliance rebate program. The federal funds were offered to every state as incentive for citizens to replace old, inefficient appliances with new energy-saving models. Maryland’s rebate program’s start date is still in the works, but it is scheduled to begin sometime this spring, likely by the end of March or early April (

To collect your share of the pot, you must replace your old appliances with qualifying new, super-efficient Energy Star-rated models ( A new electric heat pump water heater will get you $300, a new washing machine $50 and a new refrigerator $25.

Don’t jump the gun; the program is not retroactive. Any of these appliances bought before the program launches will not qualify for the rebate. But if you can’t wait, our local electric companies have rebate programs already in place.

BGE ( and SMECO ( both offer $50 rebates for Energy Star qualified clothes washers and refrigerators. If you let them pick up and recycle your old refrigerator, they’ll give you another $50.

Pepco ( offers rebates of $50 for a refrigerator, $25 for a room air-conditioner and $20 for a hot water heater.

For more details on the Maryland rebate program and a list of qualifying appliances:

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