Appliance rebate program good for Texans

Ain’t timing a funny thing? The very morning our most excellent op-ed on the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program gets published in the San Antonio Express-News, the Comptroller’s Office decides to change the reservation date from April 5th to the 7th. Silly stuff. Check out our amended op-ed below, and visit the Express-News to help us clarify the date change in the comments section!

Appliance rebate program good for Texans

If someone handed you a $300 check to trade in your old fridge for a new one, would you do it? Would knowing you could shave $150 a year from your electric bill sweeten the deal? By taking advantage of the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program from April 16-25, you can do just that.

We often have critical things to say about the state government, especially when it comes to how it approaches energy and climate change issues. Consider, for instance, our ongoing campaigns to block new coal plants and stop new nuclear reactors.

But in this case, we must praise Texas, because it has come up with a way to boost energy efficiency and ease the burden on Texans’ pocketbooks.

Under the rebate program, Texans not only will save money but will continue to save on their electric and water bills throughout the life of the more efficient appliances. Rebate reservations can be made through www.TexasPowerfulSmart.org or by calling 1-877-780-3039 toll free starting April 7. However, funds are limited to only $23 million, and based on past appliance rebates, this money will go fast. Reserve your rebate early or you will miss this opportunity.

Most people think of energy conservation as having to give something up, but with highly efficient appliances you get the same product and end result — with less energy and money spent. Clothes washed in an energy-efficient washer will be just as clean as those from an old energy-sucking clunker, and you’ll spend less at the end of the month. Why not get the same amount of bang from fewer bucks?

Texas residents with a valid Texas residential address will qualify to receive a rebate check if they replace old appliances with a new ENERGY STAR or Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) qualified model. Residents may receive up to two rebates per household for a wide variety of appliances including air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, hot water heaters and more. You can qualify for only one rebate per appliance category — no double dipping!

Rebates range from $45 for window units to $1,000 for central air conditioners. Consumers can get even more money by recycling their old appliances and getting $75 back for their efforts. Customers should also check to see if they qualify for additional home energy rebates currently offered by CPS Energy, San Antonio’s energy utility.

By committing to energy efficiency, we save more than just money. If thousands of Texans use less electricity because they’ve switched to efficient appliances and buildings, that also means we burn fewer fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming and contaminate our air and water. And building new coal-fired power plants? There would be no need for them! So fewer Texans would become ill from diseases associated with power plant pollution. With energy efficiency, we can be good stewards of our environment and protect public health — without having to give anything up, and by saving money at the same time.

The rebate program will be administered through the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO). SECO will ask you to provide your name, address and appliance category when requesting a reservation, so start planning now to decide what appliances you would like to replace.

Times are tough for Texas families, and this program will help thousands of consumers across the state save money, energy, and water.

David Power is deputy director of Public Citizen, a nonprofit advocacy group focusing on energy issues.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.