california appliance rebate program onA new California state program exchanges washers, refrigerators and room air conditioners for cash. The program launched on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 and ends Sunday, May 23. So far, 21,000 applications await a rebate from the California Energy Commission and there is still funding left, though program officials said those interested should sign up quickly.

Consumers who buy appliances during the rebate period and recycle the old ones must file an application within 30 days of the purchase for the rebate. Newly-bought appliances must be California-eligible, and you have to sign a form that the certified recycler mails in.

Not only do new appliances, such as energy-efficient refrigerators, make perishable foods last longer, they also save money -- as much as $65 a year on an energy bill.

About $2.2 million remains in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan funds, said Amy Morgan, Information Officer with the California Energy Commission. California has $35,267,000 reserved for the specific cash for appliance program. The funds shouldn't deplete as fast as in similar programs in other states, Morgan said. States such as Massachusetts and Nevada also budgeted their state funds but the amount has already depleted. Massachusetts received $6,235,000 and Nevada received $2.945 million.

California's system also differs from those states because it doesn't have a reservation system. The system other states used required consumers to either call a government phone number or log on to a website to receive a number before making a purchase.

States such as Florida, Texas and Arizona, who also required reservations for rebates, closed their cash-for-appliance programs in the first few hours. Texas received about $1.4 million for the rebate program.

"Our program is a little different from the other states that sold out in the first few hours," Morgan said.

To see the Department of Energy's Website and find out how much money is available for each state through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act cash for appliances program, visit http://www.energy.gov/InYourState.htm.

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