A boost in appliance sales is expected this weekend as the Cash For Appliances rebate program starts in Georgia on Friday.
With some people having received income tax refunds, the start of the stimulus program is well timed, said Ronnie Varner, the general manager at Appliance Land on Washington Road.
"Hope it is going to be good," Varner said. "We'll take any kind of boost."
The rebates are available on purchases of Energy Star-rated appliances.
Purchases made before Friday won't qualify for the rebate, which could be as low as $25 for a freezer and as high as $199 for a furnace or water heater.
"Georgians can participate in the rebate program by applying at GeorgiaRebate.com immediately following their appliance purchase," said Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority Executive Director Phil Foil.
Unlike the Cash For Clunkers program, which put the burden of reimbursement on the car dealership, the Cash For Appliances program requires the consumer to apply for the rebate.
The money for the rebate program comes from federal stimulus funds, $300 million, that were divvied up among the states. The purpose is to spur the purchase of new energy-efficient appliances and recycling of the old ones.
The program expires when the money runs out. Georgia received an allotment of $8.6 million. That's enough to fund rebates for 43,216 water heaters or 172,000 refrigerators.
But the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority expects to issue about 100,000 rebates through the program, Foil said.
Rebates will be issued in the form of a Visa prepaid card that is preloaded with the rebate amount, arriving two to three weeks after the required forms and receipts are mailed.
Online and out-of-state purchases do not qualify. The maximum rebate limit is $1,200 per household.
Varner said the Martinez appliance store didn't stock up in anticipation of the program.
"Not any more than our normal inventory. But we keep a large inventory in anyway. When someone comes in, typically, we'll have one in stock ready to be delivered."