Senator Lucio's Letterhead

CAPITOL UPDATE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2010
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez, Communications Director
Phone: 512-463-0385

South Texans Should Utilize State Appliance Rebate Program

Between April 16 and 25, South Texans will get more rebate bang for their bucks when purchasing energy conserving appliances.

Texas recently received more than $23 million in federal stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish and administer the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program.

The Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program, as it is called in Texas, allows consumers to receive rebates on qualifying appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and water heaters. Shoppers must purchase these items during those 10 days and trade in their old but functional appliances.

The program officially began April 7, 2010, at 7 a.m., and the purchase period for all appliances begins April 16.

Rebate reservations are being accepted online through the web site www.secostimulus.org/rebate or via toll-free at 1-877-780-3039, which is currently receiving a high volume of calls, so I encourage shoppers to be patient and keep trying. The Texas Comptroller's State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), in charge of administering the rebates, is working to expand the number of phone lines to accommodate more callers.

While placement on the wait list is not a guarantee of a rebate reservation, rebate applications from wait list participants will be processed in the order they are received pending available funds.

The first of its kind, this program encourages all Texans to replace their older appliances with new, energy efficient models to stimulate the Texas economy and increase energy conservation efforts in our state.

Participants must be Texas residents with a valid state address, purchase an appliance in-store at a Texas retailer and replace an old appliance with a new, energy-efficient model like an Energy Star or CEE qualified appliance to qualify for a mail-in rebate.

Each household is eligible for up to two rebates, as long as they are for two different types of appliances. Online purchases are not eligible.

State rebates can be combined with other rebates and incentives, such as manufacturer rebates and federal tax credits to further stretch a buyer's dollar.

And it gets better. Residents who recycle their old appliances will receive an additional $75 rebate.

I strongly encourage shoppers to please follow all the rules found on the State Comptroller's web site mentioned earlier.

Consumers can also receive from the web site up-to-date information via email, get answers to frequently asked questions and review a list of eligible appliances and rebate amounts.

The rebates and incentives benefit not just the purchaser, but every state resident because energy will be conserved, the environment will be better protected and our economy will be spurred.

As the experts explain, efficiency means using less energy while getting the same results and applying new technologies in smarter ways.

All participants will be able to take advantage of cost savings in their purchases, as well as in their utility bills from operating more energy efficient appliances

After all, efficiency is now being touted as one of Texas' newest resources.

As always, if you have any input or questions regarding these or other matters, please do not hesitate to contact Doris Sanchez, my Communications Director, 512-463-0385.

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