ENERGY STAR: Save Energy, Save Money

by Lynn B. Johnson on June 17, 2009

energy-starENERGY STAR is a government program to help encourage energy efficiency while reducing harmful greenhouse gases. Products stamped with the ENERGY STAR logo meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the US Department of Energy. But you might not know that when you purchase ENERGY STAR-compliant products, you might also save a bundle of money, in the form of tax credits and deductions, and rebates from the ENERGY STAR partner corporations.

ENERGY STAR offers tax credits to consumers who make qualifying home improvements or purchase electric, hybrid, or other alternatively fueled automobiles. It also offers tax credits for home builders and tax deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings.  

In addition to the tax credits offered by the ENERGY STAR program, its partners are now getting into the act by offering rebates, gift cards, and other incentives to local consumers.

Visitors to the Special Offer and Rebate page of the ENERGY STAR web site can enter a Zip code and then choose selected products (or choose “click all” at the bottom of the list for an all-encompassing review) to see whether manufacturers are offering special deals in local areas.

Interested to learn how the savings might add up, I typed in my Zip code and “click all” to find out how much money I could save if I were looking to buy all-new appliances, heating/cooling equipment, home electronics, home supplies, lighting, office equipment, and water heaters.

Turns out, I could earn: a $300 rebate on a qualifying tankless, on-demand water heater; $500 cash-back on five select KitchenAid® brand appliances (less cash back for fewer appliances); Visa prepaid cards for purchasing Bosch or GE appliances; plus instant discounts on CFL bulbs, with rebates based on the CFL package.

(If I weren’t a home renter, I’d snap up the on-demand tankless water heater – they’re all the rage in Europe because they’re energy-efficient and they actually work instantaneously. Not a bad deal.)

If you’re in the market for some home improvements, it wouldn’t hurt to sign up for the email offers at your local home-improvement retailers: I just received a “10 Percent Off Appliances” email from my Home Depot e-subscription.

Retailers, utilities, and other companies interested in becoming an ENERGY STAR partner can visit the Partner Resources page.

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