Make us your home page

Mad rush for discounts in cash for clunker appliance program

ST. PETERSBURG — The state's cash for clunker appliances rebate program drew hundreds of people to stores around the Tampa Bay area before dawn Friday.

About 100 people were lined up outside the Sears store at Tyrone Square Mall when the doors opened at 6 a.m.

It was a mad rush for about an hour, a manager said, but soon settled into a steady flow of customers.

The shoppers were lining up for a shot at a rebate that could cut the cost of major appliances by 40 to 60 percent.

But there's a big catch: Buyers must apply for the rebate starting at 11 a.m. and there's no guarantee there will be enough money for everyone. And it's a complicated process that can only be done online.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, buyers can go to to apply for a priority reservation for the program.

But with only $17.6 million available statewide, the money may run out before the day is through.

A running tally of how much rebate money remains unclaimed will appear on the Web site, to be updated every 30 minutes. So the first hour or so will tell if anybody waiting to jump into the fray after lunch has a snowball's chance.

The program offers 20 percent discounts on six types of Energy Star-rated appliances and $75 more if you can prove you properly disposed of each old energy hog. Retailers are offering their own discounts, increasing the potential savings.

Most of the major retailers in the Tampa Bay area are offering deals and opened early to take advantage of consumer demand, including Sears, Apsco, Lowe's, HH Gregg and Famous Tate.

The demand is so great that other states that have run similar programs have had trouble processing all the applications and run out of money quickly.

"It's a good deal — if I get the rebate,'' said Tom Mollo of Treasure Island, a retired sheriff's deputy from Binghamton, N.Y. He called the process to get the rebate "a real pain.''

Some stores have set aside rooms with computers to help consumers through the rebate process.

Mad rush for discounts in cash for clunker appliance program 04/16/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 16, 2010 11:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
  2. Make-A-Wish Foundation aims to help more kids in Tampa Bay


    The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the lookout for sick children in the Tampa Bay area who need a once-in-a-lifetime pick-me-up.

    Grace Savage, a 10-year-old girl with a chromosomal disorder made a trek to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last year, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation intends to beef up its presence in the Tampa Bay area after a reorganization. The region is now the responsibility of the foundation's Southern Florida chapter, one of the most active in the country, with more than 11,000 wishes granted so far. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  3. Florida hides details in nursing home reports. Federal agencies don't.


    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott widened his offensive Thursday against the Broward nursing home he blames for the deaths of 10 residents by setting up a tip line for information, but when it comes to access to the inspection reports of all nursing homes, the governor's administration has heavily censored what the …

    In the foreground is a document detailing the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills obtained from a federal agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Behind it is the state?€™s version of the same document, from the Agency for Health Care Administration, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]
  4. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  5. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]