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Published: Tuesday, 3/30/2010

Most funding for appliances gone in 4 days

BLADE STAFF

In just four days, soaring demand has eaten up nearly four-fifths of the $10.1 million in funds available through Ohio's Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program.

Officials from the Ohio Energy Resources division, which is administering the program in Ohio for the U.S. Department of Energy, said yesterday that rebate money for new dishwashers was exhausted and just $397,000 in rebates remained for clothes washers. The program began Friday.

"Anyone who made a reservation for a dishwasher received a notification that they will receive a rebate," said Kimber Perfect, a state spokesman. However, others still seeking a rebate for a dishwasher will be on a waiting list and could still get a rebate after May 24, when the program ends and any unused rebate funds designated for other appliances are reallocated.

Through yesterday afternoon, Ohioans had applied for 66,291 of a potential 89,000 rebates available. Meanwhile, 33,146 of those applied-for rebates have been approved after consumers purchased appliances during a 72-hour window.

Under the program, consumers can reserve rebates but must purchase the qualifying dishwasher, washing machine, water heater, or refrigerator within 72 hours or their reservation is canceled and the reserved money goes back into the rebate pool.

Ms. Perfect said the most desired rebate is for dishwashers, with 20,885 rebates requested. There were 20,667 rebates sought for washing machines and 18,560 sought for refrigerators.

Just over $158,000 in rebate funds remain available for electric water heaters, while $977,000 is still available for gas water heaters.

The outcome is much different than a similar program in Michigan, which had smaller rebate amounts. That program began in February and still has money left.



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