Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that North Carolina is in line to receive $8.8 million in federal funds to help homeowners purchase energy-efficient appliances, from furnaces and room air conditioners to refrigerators and dishwashers. The money for ENERGY STAR rated appliances would be distributed through a program to be developed by the Energy Office along with the N.C. Office of Economic Recovery and Investment.
The funds are part of nearly $300 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act being distributed nationwide by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Affordable, energy efficient appliances are not only good for the environment, they cut energy costs for consumers and create more business for retailers,” said Perdue. “These recovery funds will help boost our green economy, and make North Carolina a more environmentally friendly state.”
North Carolina first must file an application with the federal Department of Energy that indicates a desire to participate in the rebate program. The state Energy Office then will submit a more detailed plan that outlines which ENERGY STAR appliances will be included in the rebate program, the rebate level for the products, how the rebates will be processed and a recycling plan for old appliances. As with other state Energy Office initiatives concerning federal recovery plans, proposals will be available for public comment before being submitted.
The federal Energy Department is recommending that states focus the rebate program efforts on heating and cooling equipment, appliances and water heaters, since these products offer the greatest energy saving potential.
The Energy Office will seek to develop a program that works to the greatest benefit for consumers, who also are being offered savings opportunities on home energy improvements through utility companies and other energy providers. In addition, the state and federal government offer tax advantages on the purchase of some major home appliances. North Carolina also offers a sales tax free holiday weekend on the purchase of some ENERGY STAR products. This year it is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 6, through Sunday, Nov. 8.
For more information on the federal ENERGY STAR rebate program, visit: www.energy.gov/recovery. For more information on North Carolina’s efforts as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit the Web site for the N.C. Office of Economic Recovery and Investment at www.ncrecovery.gov.