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DOE Approves TN’s Appliance Rebate Program

State of Tennessee News Release, Dec 02, 2009:

Eligible Appliances Include Heating and Cooling Units; Program Slated to Launch on Earth Day 2010

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development today announced approval by U.S. Department of Energy for Tennessee’s State Energy and Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP). Tennessee will receive $5.9 million for the program’s rebates and administrative costs and will be funded by federal dollars through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The program will be administered at the state level through ECD.

“This funding provided by the Recovery Act will help Tennessee families lower their utility bills and have a positive impact on the environment,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “This will be a welcome addition to Tennessee’s ongoing energy conservation initiatives.”

Eligible appliances will include air source heat pumps, central air conditioners and room air conditioners with the Energy Star® designation. A rebate of $250 will be available for the air source heat pumps and central air conditioners, while room air conditioners will be eligible for a $40 rebate. The target date for the launch of the program is Earth Day, April 22, 2010.

“Tennessee has one of the highest per capita rates of residential electricity consumption in the U.S.,” said Matt Kisber, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “By encouraging the use of Energy Star® heating and cooling systems, we’ll help Tennessee families reduce their energy use and save on their heating and cooling bills each month.”

Statewide, the estimated energy savings for delivery and installation of qualified heating and cooling products is approximately 16 million kilowatt hours per year. A reduction in energy use of that size translates to a yearly savings of almost $1.4 million in energy costs for Tennesseans and reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by 32 million pounds annually.

The state of Tennessee plans to partner with the Tennessee Valley Authority on the program to reduce administrative and processing costs, as well as to help market and promote SEEARP. The collaboration will allow the state of Tennessee to focus the majority of the ARRA funding on consumer rebates. Consumers receiving rebates under the state’s program may also be eligible for additional financial assistance through TVA’s existing residential efficiency programs.

“With this approach, we can improve residential energy efficiency and reduce peak energy demand on the TVA grid,” said Ryan Gooch, energy policy director for the Department of Economic and Community Development. “Helping consumers purchase more efficient heating and cooling systems will produce significant energy savings and have the biggest positive impact on the environment.”

More details on how consumers can take advantage of the rebates will be available in the coming months.

Only qualifying Energy Star® heating and cooling units purchased after the program launch will be eligible and rebates will not be retroactive. For the latest updates go here.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced in July 2009 that $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would be made available to states and territories to promote the purchase of Energy Star® qualified appliances. Energy Star® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, visit Energy Star®.

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