Stimulating the Market for Energy-Efficient Appliances
California was allocated $35.2 million – the largest percentage of funding received nationally – in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds to implement a statewide appliance rebate program. The California Energy Commission (CEC) administered the program collaborating with utilities and retailers to provide rebates to consumers for purchasing qualified home appliances and incentives for recycling old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers during the program period and incentives. Appliances selected for rebates qualified for the ENERGY STAR® label, met Consortium for Energy Efficiency tier standards, complied with state law for sale in California, and met program capacity and efficiency requirements.
The goals and critical factors of the program included saving energy, leveraging ARRA funds with existing investor-owned utility rebate programs and partnerships, and keeping administrative costs low.
The process involved coordinating investor-owned utility support through providing guidance to the CEC on designing, implementing, and managing a statewide appliance rebate program and appliance recycling program; coordinating in-kind and joint marketing and outreach efforts; developing tracking and reporting requirements; and training utility call center representatives.
The program launched on Earth Day in 2010 and offered rebates for recycling old, inefficient appliances and for the purchase of qualifying energy-efficient clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners, heating and cooling equipment, and water heater systems. The program closed in 2011 and paid $33.5 million for more than 178,000 rebates, and saved 56 million kWh per year, which is equivalent to powering 1,000 homes.
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