If you've been thinking about buying an Energy Star washer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer or room air conditioner, an upcoming promotion might give you the perfect reason to do so.
If you buy an Energy Star appliance at certain retailers throughout the state between April 16 and 25, you'll immediately receive a 15 percent instant rebate. (See accompanying box to see participating retailers.)
If you turn in your old refrigerator, freezer or fridge/freezer combo for recycling, you'll be eligible for an additional $75 mail-in rebate. (Other appliances are not eligible.)
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is putting on the program while the federal stimulus money lasts. The state department received nearly $12.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to pay for the program, which has been divided into two phases. Rebates on water heaters and heating and cooling equipment started at the end of January.
Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 21, the start of the rebate program in Illinois and the end of the water heater phase, consumers received more than $600,000 in water heater rebates and the program generated more than $2.5 million in water heater sales, according to information from Marcelyn Love, department spokeswoman.
As of March 20, customers received $1.6 million in rebates and generated $18.3 million in heating and cooling sales, according to a press release from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Rebates on heating and cooling equipment are still available through Monday. For more information, visit http://www.commerce.state.il.us/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/hvac.htm.
About $6 million has been set aside for the Energy Star appliance portion of the rebate program, and Love said the state will try to make sure both customers and retailers know if money is still available for the rebates.
Status updates can be found at http://www.illinoisenergy.org, Love said, and the state is working closely with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association to make sure those who need to know receive program updates.
Here's how the rebate for recycling your fridge or freezer works. If the retailer you buy your new Energy Star appliance from will haul away and recycle your old one, get proof it was hauled away. If not, you can contact a haul-away company or take your old appliance to a recycling center to qualify for the rebate. You must mail in a copy of the sales receipt showing 15 percent off was received for purchase of the new unit, a completed rebate form from http://www.illinoisenergy.org and proof that the old unit was removed from your home.
This can either take the form of a standard receipt of haul-away that is provided by appliance delivery or removal company or a receipt from the recycling center where you dropped off your old appliance, Love said.
The mail-in rebate forms must be postmarked no later than May 22. Stand-alone freezers, full-size refrigerators at least 7.75 cubic feet or bigger, and fridge/freezer combos 7.75 cubic feet or bigger are eligible for the $75 rebate. If the unit is picked up, it must be from the same location your new Energy star freezer or refrigerator is delivered, Love said. Rebates are subject to available funds, she said, and one $75 mail-in rebate is allowed per household.
Champaign resident Meghan Firchau said she and her husband were given a Maytag Energy Star front-loading washer and electric dryer a year ago.
The 10-year-old appliances replaced a 3-year-old top-loading washer and regular gas dryer, Firchau said.
"We have found that the 10-year-old set uses less water and detergent, is more efficient and is much quieter," she said.
While her family switched to using compact fluorescent light bulbs, she believes the Energy Star washer and dryer have contributed to lower energy bills.
"Our energy bill has gone from $130 per month to $119," Firchau said.
Where to find them
Here are some local retailers where you can purchase an Energy Star appliance and receive 15 percent off through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Illinois Energy Star Rebate Program. This is the most recent information available from the state at press time.
Aaron's Sales & Lease 2410 N. Prospect Ave., C
Best Buy Champaign, 2117 N. Prospect Ave., C
Dick Van Dyke Appliance World, 1510 N. Neil St., C
Hampton's Kitchens & Appliances, 711 N. Mattis Ave., C
Home Depot, 820 Bloomington Road, C
Lowe's of Champaign, 1904 N. Prospect Ave., C
Mattex Service Co., 402 S. Staley Road, C
Sears, 2000 N. Neil St., C
Baier Home Center, 120 S. Second St., Cissna Park
Aaron's Sales & Lease, 12 E. West Newell Road, Danville
Lowe's of Danville, 3636 North Vermilion St., Danville
Sears, 2917 N. Vermilion St., Danville
Sheridan's Appliances Center, 224 E. Main St., Hoopeston
LeRoy True Value, 400 S. Chestnut St., LeRoy
Aaron's Sales & Lease, 1312 Fortworth Way, Mattoon
Card's Appliances Sales & Service, 120 S. Ninth St., Mattoon
Home Depot, 1301 Fort Worth Way, Mattoon
Sears, 700 Broadway Ave E. Suite 16, Mattoon
Walden's TV & Appliance Inc., 300 N. 15th St., Mattoon
Armsworth Appliances, 205 W. Center St., Monticello
Behrends Farm & Home ,139 N. Chestnut St., Onarga
Paxton True Value, 525 S. Market St., Paxton
Paul's Appliances ,110 N. Kentucky Ave., Rantoul
Recycling fridge, freezer can earn rebate
In addition to getting an instant 15 percent rebate on certain appliances purchased April 16-25 at certain retailers, you may be eligible for an a $75 rebate if you recycle the refrigerator or freezer your new model replaces.
The program is residential, said Marcelyn Love, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, so a person can't take advantage of a rebate on an appliance in an office, a church or other location.
"Also, in order to take advantage of the recycling rebate, you must replace your old unit with the new rebated unit in order to qualify," Love said in an e-mail.
If you buy your new fridge, freezer or fridge/freezer combo from a retailer who won't haul off your old one for recycling, here's an informal list of local recycling centers that will take your appliance for free or for a small charge that will apply to the cost of removing the freon inside it:
Address: 302 S. Market St., Champaign
Phone number: 352-3040
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Other information: This company will take refrigerators and freezers for free if you can acknowledge that freon's been extracted. Otherwise, they'll charge you a nominal fee – about $10.
Mack's Twin City Recycling
Address: 2808 N. Lincoln Ave., U
Phone number: 328-2100
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday
Other information: Mack's charges $10 for freon removal.
Bryant's Auto Parts and Recycling
Address: 1406 Warrington Ave., Danville
Phone number: 431-0551
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Other information: Bryant's asks you whether your refrigerator has freon (in order to take care of it) but does not charge you if it does, said CEO Mike Bryant.
"We do it for that customer free of charge," he said, because he doesn't want people handling it improperly.
Bryant's Auto Parts and Recycling
Address: 10112 S. State St., Westville
Phone number: 267-2124
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays
Bryant's Auto Parts and Recycling
Address: U.S. 36 east of Tuscola, exactly 5 miles from the McDonald's in town
Phone number: 253-2477
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 to noon Saturdays
Address: 14 South Henning Road, Danville
Phone number: 431-4699
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 to noon Saturday
Other information: Charges $10 for freon removal per appliance
Address: 2313 E. Cannon St., Danville
Phone number: 477-9214
Hours: 7 a.m. Monday to 4 p.m. Friday
Other information: Accepts refrigerators and freezers, and may charge extra for freon removal on a case-by-case basis. For more information, you can visit http://www.mervis.com.
Address: 1507 N. Bowman St., Danville
Phone number: 442-9487
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday
Other information: WITS doesn't charge if you drop off a refrigerator or freezer with freon in it.
Other recyclers of note
Illini Recycling in Champaign and Coultas Recycling in Danville accept refrigerators and freezers, but only if your appliance doesn't contain freon. There's a good chance the refrigerator or freezer in your home contains freon.