You might call it an early Christmas present for customers looking get a rebate for upgrading their aging and/or energy guzzling appliances like dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators and air conditioners. Joe Sampey works at Lowe's Home Improvement center in Bellaire. He says when they opened the doors, ten people waiting went straight to the appliances.
"Today alone, I've sold at least about maybe $13 grand in appliances, and I've only been here two hours."
The original appliance rebate program took place last April, but Allen Spelce with the state comptroller's office says they encountered problems when an online reservation system jammed communications.
"Last time you kind of had that gold rush mentality, where everybody thought they had to get in immediately to get a chunk of the money. This time we're doing a mail-in-rebate, the traditional old mail in rebate program, so there's no reservation system, and you just simply mail in your rebate."
PH: "So, you download this form and then you attach it to a receipt?"
Spelce: "Yep, you attach it to a receipt, and if you dispose of that old appliance that you're replacing, and you have proof of that, you get an additional $75-dollars."
Spelce says the rebate will depend on the appliance you buy.
"Like refrigerators, you can get a rebate amount up to $175 dollars, and air source heat pumps rebate amounts are up to a 1,000. So, there's some pretty good savings to be had. Not only are the consumers saving dollars, but you're also helping out the environment by replacing that old appliance with a more energy efficient one."
Barbara James and her husband came looking to replace their dishwasher, rebate or not.
"I thought I'd be buying anyway (laugh). My dishwasher is on the blink, so it just so happens that the rebate program coincides with when my dishwasher went out."
The rebate program is available through the first of January or until the 18-million dollars in federal stimulus money is gone. You can find more information at www.texaspowerfulsmart.org.