Well if you’re sick of hearing about cash for clunkers, be prepared – dollars for dishwashers is next.  It’s also called cash for appliances, and the federal government is giving 300 million dollars in rebates to consumers who buy energy-efficient appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines – no trade-in required.

Our research shows media outlets are trying to figure out what this means for the appliance industry and consumers. First, on the industrial side, ABC News looks at the statistics that say stores need a boost.

"On the whole, everything has stopped- I would say 40 percent, 40 percent this year? Yes, air conditioners- I would say 60 percent ... nationwide the appliance industry has seen sales drop 15 percent, just this year, they’re hoping the program will reel customers back in the stores, the same way the clunkers program did."


But MSNBC, who also speaks with an appliance store employee, looks at the numbers in a different way – showing the program could turn into a hassle.

"Independent appliance companies don’t have big back pockets, we can’t cash flow rebates for the cash for clunkers on appliances, so however the government does this, it needs to be an in-consumer rebate back to them."

So is it worth it for the consumers?  For that answer, we look at three local news outlets.

First, the Baltimore Sun and Michigan’s WWMT bring us opposite perspectives from two different industry insiders about whether you should buy new or just fix the old.

“Retiring older, less efficient appliances with Energy Star products is the single most cost-effective step a consumer can take to save money and energy...”

“not the best way to save – (instead) clean the coils on your frig, vents on your dryer, your air conditioning once a year, if everyone did that, we would save this country a third of its energy”

But we found many media outlets are looking at existing rebates, asking if the new program is necessary.  Miami’s WPLG examines that point, saying there’s still a benefit.

“So I went to energystart.gov and I found a page for special offers and rebates, when I put in my zip code for appliances, there are already several rebates being offered out there , now if I were to purchase one of the select kitchen-aide products, I could receive up to 500 dollars in rebates , but most of those rebates come in the form of pre-paid credit cards, we’re also hearing that the federal rebate would piggy back on the other rebate programs that I just told you for the energy-saving appliances, so you kind of get two for one there.”

Finally, the Wall Street Journal’s coverage has a different focus than most – looking at how the states will have to decide the details – and how that will impact both consumers and the industry.

“Some of the nation’s biggest appliance makers are lobbying to make the plan rules uniform nationwide. They said the unknowns and the varying rules by state will make the program harder to explain to shoppers, in turn making it tougher to win sales.”

So do you think the program is a good idea and is it worth it for either consumers or the industry?

The New Cash Clunkers

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Aug 27, 2009

The New Cash Clunkers

Well if you’re sick of hearing about cash for clunkers, be prepared – dollars for dishwashers is next.  It’s also called cash for appliances, and the federal government is giving 300 million dollars in rebates to consumers who buy energy-efficient appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines – no trade-in required.

Our research shows media outlets are trying to figure out what this means for the appliance industry and consumers. First, on the industrial side, ABC News looks at the statistics that say stores need a boost.

"On the whole, everything has stopped- I would say 40 percent, 40 percent this year? Yes, air conditioners- I would say 60 percent ... nationwide the appliance industry has seen sales drop 15 percent, just this year, they’re hoping the program will reel customers back in the stores, the same way the clunkers program did."


But MSNBC, who also speaks with an appliance store employee, looks at the numbers in a different way – showing the program could turn into a hassle.

"Independent appliance companies don’t have big back pockets, we can’t cash flow rebates for the cash for clunkers on appliances, so however the government does this, it needs to be an in-consumer rebate back to them."

So is it worth it for the consumers?  For that answer, we look at three local news outlets.

First, the Baltimore Sun and Michigan’s WWMT bring us opposite perspectives from two different industry insiders about whether you should buy new or just fix the old.

“Retiring older, less efficient appliances with Energy Star products is the single most cost-effective step a consumer can take to save money and energy...”

“not the best way to save – (instead) clean the coils on your frig, vents on your dryer, your air conditioning once a year, if everyone did that, we would save this country a third of its energy”

But we found many media outlets are looking at existing rebates, asking if the new program is necessary.  Miami’s WPLG examines that point, saying there’s still a benefit.

“So I went to energystart.gov and I found a page for special offers and rebates, when I put in my zip code for appliances, there are already several rebates being offered out there , now if I were to purchase one of the select kitchen-aide products, I could receive up to 500 dollars in rebates , but most of those rebates come in the form of pre-paid credit cards, we’re also hearing that the federal rebate would piggy back on the other rebate programs that I just told you for the energy-saving appliances, so you kind of get two for one there.”

Finally, the Wall Street Journal’s coverage has a different focus than most – looking at how the states will have to decide the details – and how that will impact both consumers and the industry.

“Some of the nation’s biggest appliance makers are lobbying to make the plan rules uniform nationwide. They said the unknowns and the varying rules by state will make the program harder to explain to shoppers, in turn making it tougher to win sales.”

So do you think the program is a good idea and is it worth it for either consumers or the industry?

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