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State appliance swap program starts this month

If you need a new kitchen appliance, hold that purchase off until next week if  possible. That's when New York's Great Appliance Swap-Out is poised to do for appliances what Cash for Clunkers did for autos.

The swap-out will take place during President's Week, Feb. 12 to 21, when New York State residents can trade in their existing appliance clunkers for more efficient Energy Star and Consortium of Energy Efficiency models -- and get a cash rebate. That would come from the state's $16.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding earmarked for rebates.

The program is good for the environment and consumers on tight budgets, says Frank Murray, president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which is administering the program.

SAVINGS. For purchasing an eligible refrigerator, $75; clothes washer, $75; freezer, $50. But, if you also document that you've recycled your old unit, your rebate will rise to $105, $100, and $75 respectively.

BUNDLE. Go for a three-unit package of eligible refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher, and you'll get a $500 rebate, up to $555 with proof of recycling. (Dishwashers don't qualify if bought separately.)

CHECK 'EM OUT.The deal is not retroactive if you make the purchase before Feb. 12. The rebate money is also first-come, first-serve, so keep an eye on the countdown calculator that will be on NYApplianceSwapOut.com, where you can learn more program details. (Click here to connect.)

DON'T ASSUME.Unlike Cash for Clunkers, consumers bear the responsibility for documenting and filing paperwork. Consumers should check with the retailer about disposal or recycling of their old appliances.

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