The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has released a press statement in which it applauds the House Appropriations Committee for its economic stimulus provision that includes $300 million toward consumer rebates for those who purchase Energy Star products to replace old appliances. This provision provides the funding necessary to implement the consumer rebate program, which was authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and is to be administered by the states.

AHAM says the rebate program will result in dramatic savings for consumers. If every household in California alone upgraded to ENERGY STAR appliances, residents would save more than $1.2 billion in utility costs per year, the organization says. The consumer rebate would offset the cost differential between ENERGY STAR and non-ENERGY STAR appliances such as refrigerator-freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers. These savings, coupled with the lifetime energy savings, would more than pay for the total investment in the new appliances.

This rebate also provides an important benefit to the environment. By replacing appliances with ENERGY STAR appliances, California alone would save more than 10 billion kWh per year.

“Funding this federal-state appliance rebate program will benefit consumers by reducing the cost of ENERGY STAR appliances and provide them with additional discretionary income by way of reduced utility bills. The energy savings and climate benefits are also significant. It’s a practical, effective public policy measure at this time. 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,” stated Joseph M. McGuire, AHAM President. “The home appliance industry urges Congress and the President to enact this measure.”