June 11, 2010

Appliance Industry Cites Benefits of Appliance Rebate Programs

AHAM credits the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs (SEEARP), funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with delivering the promised benefits of stimulating economic activity. The program has been very successful in encouraging U.S. consumers to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances, but its modest funding and complicated rollout limited its effectiveness in saving consumers energy and money.

Many AHAM members have pointed to a significant increase in demand for the ENERGY STAR appliances included in the rebate program.  AHAM’s April factory shipment report shows a nearly 20 percent increase in shipments of major home appliances compared to April 2009.  Year to date, shipments of core appliances are up 9.1 percent following four consecutive years of declines. 

Major retailers have confirmed that the rebate program has helped bring consumers back into stores.  While the $300 million funding for the rebate program was significantly less than other stimulus programs, the return of consumers to stores also helped stimulate the purchase of goods other than appliances. 

AHAM’s assessment of the SEEARP program is that it has been a success but that its modest funding and complicated rollout limited its effectiveness in saving consumers energy and money and stimulating economic activity. AHAM also recommends a single, national rebate program instead of 50 separate state programs, each requiring separate DOE approval and related administrative costs.  A consistent nationwide program would make it much easier for manufacturers to partner with retailers to develop promotional campaigns to make consumers aware of the rebates. 

Read more on AHAM's view of the SEEARP program at www.aham.org.

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