Reservation for a Rebate

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On Friday, April 16th, the sun will rise on Florida’s Appliance Rebate Program—but not until 11:00 a.m. That’s when you’ll be able to reserve a rebate for part of the purchase price of a qualifying Energy Star appliance.

The reservation, called a priority number, will put your application ahead of others who have no reservation. Florida has $17.5 million dollars of federal money—part of the stimulus bill—to distribute, and the plan is to dole it out on a first-come, first-served basis.

The list of qualifying appliances is short: refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, tankless gas water heaters, and room air conditioners. You can apply for a rebate of 20% of the purchase price for one qualifying appliance in each category, plus an additional $75 when you recycle your old appliance. The “purchase price” is what you actually pay for the appliance, after discounts, and excluding sales tax.

The maximum you can claim is $1,500 for all purchases made between April 16 and April 25, when the program ends. The $1,500 total includes the extra $75 for recycling.

Another rule: You have to purchase the appliance from a physical store here in Florida. Internet purchases don’t qualify, even if you have the appliance delivered to a Florida store. However, you can still get a rebate if the appliance you buy is out of stock, so long as you take delivery by May 10, 2010.

The final step: Submit an application form and your original receipt by May 10, 2010. Then sit back and wait 10 to 12 weeks for your rebate to arrive in the mail. Instead of a check, you’ll get an American Express Freedom Card. The card will have no fees and no expiration date, and can be converted to cash.

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