The Arizona Department of Commerce’s Energy Office just announced the Arizona Appliance Rebate Program. Details are still sketchy, but I’ll give you a low-down on what you need to know in this week’s posts. There are three items that are eligible for this rebate: clothes washers, dishwashers and water heaters. The reason Arizona decided to give rebates on these three items and not others is because it feels that these three items address the usage of water as well as energy, which is a uniquely important aspect of living in the desert.
To get this rebate, you need to make a reservation with the state on April 12, 2010. How to make this reservation is still a mystery, but I’ll keep you posted once its announced. You can buy the appliance you want a rebate for starting April 12, but you need to do your research beforehand so you can make your reservation! The state received $6.2 million as part of the federal stimulus bill to encourage people to trade in their energy and water wasting appliances for more efficient ones. The state expects to give away 35,000 reservations and they are expected to go fast!
To help you with your research, I’ll be going over exactly which appliances will qualify for the state rebates so you can scope these babies out at the store and price them out. Today’s topic: the clothes washer. The easiest thing you can do when you go to the store looking for your eligible clothes washer is look for the Energy Star label. If it has this label, you can be sure to get $125 in a rebate if you are lucky enough to get a reservation. There are two categories of clothes washers available for rebates:
- Clothes washers with an MEF greater than or equal to 1.8 and a WF less than or equal to 7.5. These standards are the minimum standards to qualify for Energy Star and are eligible for a $125 rebate.
- Clothes washers with an MEF greater than or equal to 2.0 and a WF less than or equal to 6.0. Machines meeting these standards will also sport the Energy Star label but will qualify for a $200 rebate.
So what the heck do MEF and WF mean and how can you find out what they are for the clothes washer you have your eye on?
According to the Energy Star website, “Modified Energy Factor (MEF) is an equation that takes into account the amount of dryer energy used to remove the remaining moisture content in washed items, in addition to the machine energy and water heating energy of the washer.” All you need to know is that the higher the MEF number, the more efficient the machine. WF, or
Water Factor says the Energy Star website, “is the number of gallons per cycle per cubic foot that the clothes washer uses.” What you need to know is the lower the number, the more water-efficient your clothes washer.
Now I went to Home Depot and discovered that nowhere will you find the MEF or WF ratings of the clothes washers. It’s not on the machines, it’s not in the yellow Energy Guide card, it’s not in the manuals, nada. The most helpful information you’ll find at Home Depot or any other appliance store is whether a machine is rated Energy Star or not. But with that information you at least know that your clothes washer is eligible for the $125 rebate. If you’re going for the $200 rebate, however, you’ll need to dig a little deeper to find out the MEF and WF numbers for qualifying clothes washers. This is where the research comes in. Thankfully, Energy Star lists all the qualified washing machines and their MEF and WF factors on this website.
So take a look, pick out a few models that fit the right rebate category and go shopping! I’ll keep you abreast of the most
recent information out there on how to apply for this reservation and when you can actually buy your appliance!