New Fridge or AC? Get Cash Back

dw_piggy_green More Cash for Clunkers
If you need a new water heater, air conditioner, furnace, fridge or washer-dryer, now could be the time to buy it.

Under the new State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, many new appliances qualify for government rebates, as long as they're energy-efficient. (Neat program. Too bad it doesn't have a snappy acronym—SEEARP?)

Green for Green
Under the 2008 stimulus package, states got $300 million to spend on rebates. Rebate amounts, and qualifying appliances vary widely by state. Use this Dept. of Energy map to find out the rules in your area.

Act fast! Most programs are limited (e.g. New York's only covers purchases between Feb. 12, 2010 and April 30, 2010) and rebates are typically distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Less Taxing, Too
If you already made an energy-efficient home improvement and it doesn't qualify for a state rebate, remember that you may be able to claim a tax deduction.

Of course, as with all government programs, expect some quirks and share your experiences here.