Washington state's 'Cash for Appliances' program begins

Rick Kvangnes, general manager for Judd & Black, checks out a new refrigerator at the appliance retailer
Rick Kvangnes, general manager for Judd & Black, checks out a new refrigerator at the appliance retailer's Marysville store. The state's Cash for Appliances program will not only benefit local retailers, but customers as well, Kvangnes said.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

WASHINGTON — In an effort to get residents to upgrade to more energy efficient appliances, the Washington state Cash for Appliances rebate program began on Monday, March 15.

Residents can make use of either a $75 or $100 rebate for the purchase of qualifying Energy Star refrigerators or clothes washers, respectively, under the program.

According to the state Department of Commerce, those rebates will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Approximately $5.6 million is available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Once those funds run out, so does the program, according to the department's Web site.

Rebates are for the replacement of existing appliances in residential facilities only, and can not be redeemed by landlords, commercial entities or for new construction.

In order to receive the Cash for Appliances rebate, purchasers must submit proof that the old refrigerator or clothes washer was properly recycled under Washington state law.

State rebates can be combined with other manufacturer and pubic utility district rebates or incentives.

Snohomish County PUD currently offers residents a $50 rebate for purchasing a qualifying Energy Star refrigerator and either $50, $75 or $100 rebates for the purchase of a new clothes washer, according to the entity's Web site.

Rick Kvangnes, general manager for Judd & Black, said that upgrading to a newer, more efficient clothes washer or refrigerator has a lot of benefits.

The Everett-based company operates three retail stores, including one in Marysville, that sell appliances.

He said that inefficient clothes washers use about 44 gallons of water per load. Customers who purchase a new, high-efficiency machine could cut that number in half, and wash twice as many clothes per load.

Kvangnes also said that some newer refrigerators used less electricity than a 75 watt lightbulb.

"It should be a real boost to our business," Kvangnes said. "For customers, those new appliances are going to save money, and also save time and resources every single month."

Matt Danner, sales manager for Bry's Television and Appliance in Marysville, said that so far the program has been taking off quickly.

"It promotes our new washers and going green," Danner said. "There's a whole variety of products you can choose from. The time to buy and appliance is now with all the rebates. I think I just sold a Bosch (clothes washer) for $400 off."

Kvangnes and Danner both said that they've already fielded a number of questions from customers about the new program, despite it having a "soft-launch."

Chuck Hunter, communication specialist for the Washington state Department of Commerce, said that the Cash for Appliances program officially started March 15, but the organizers won't begin to really tout it until April 1.

"We're trying to be able to spread this out as much as possible and ease into it," Hunter said. "We've spoken with other states about similar programs and learned that some states ran out of (federal stimulus) funds within a day."

Hunter said that he's expecting about 45,000 clothes washers and 15,000 refrigerators to be replaced under the program within Washington.

For more information about the Cash for Appliances program, visit

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