Make us your home page
Instagram

Stores to open early for next week's appliance rebate program

Figuring the early bird gets the worm, Sears, HHGregg and several bay area Lowe's will open by 6 a.m. Friday to woo hordes drawn to cash in on Florida's appliance rebates.

The Lowe's in St. Petersburg opens even earlier at 5:30 a.m., and the chain is tacking on an extra 10 percent discount to the 20 percent rebates offered on six types of Energy Star appliances.

"We're just hoping rebate money lasts the weekend," explained store sales manager Brendan Carter.

That's doubtful, say state officials who unveiled their Web site, www.rebates.com/florida, which spells out the rules and process consumers face to land a rebate.

"I think all the money will be gone the first day," said Brenda Buchan, program coordinator at Gov. Charlie Crist's energy office.

In Texas this week all $23 million in rebate money was snapped up by 2:30 p.m. the first day despite an apparent hacker commandeering much of the Web site's capacity and a phone room hit with 1,000 calls a minute.

"Otherwise the money would have been all gone two hours sooner," Buchan said.

Florida has $17.6 million in rebate money to dole out as 20 percent discounts to buyers of six types of Energy Star rated appliances. The estimated 68,000 who qualify also can get $75 per appliance for properly junking the energy pigs being replaced.

Daybreak openings are among several strategies appliance retailers plan to snare their share of sales. Several promise added sale prices making total savings up to 40 percent. A few will write up advance orders, but not execute them until Friday. All are bulking up to handle crowds.

"Nobody here is taking Friday off," said Dan Turner, vice president of the southeast for HHGregg. "Florida will be a big rush because these rebates are much better than what we've handled in many states like Georgia and South Carolina."

Florida will make shoppers jump through some hoops to qualify for a mail-in rebate. Because demand will outstrip supply, buyers should apply for a "priority number" to be sure their application for a rebate gets to the head of the processing line. You can only apply online at www.rebates.com/florida once that section of the site is activated at 11 a.m. Friday. The state says you must buy the appliance to apply for a priority number.

For the computer-wary, stores like HHGregg and Sears, which have high speed Internet access linked to cash register systems, offer to handle the paperwork and online applications.

"We see helping people navigate this process as a business opportunity," said Doug Moore, president of home appliances for Sears Holdings Corp. which sells a third of all major appliances covered by the rebates.

The rebates are first come, first served until the money runs out. And the state says shoppers must buy before applying for a priority number. So to limit their being asked to buy a pig in a poke, the Web site carries a running tally of the amount of rebate cash left. The tally is updated every 30 minutes including updates on Twitter.

Staff Writer Mark Albright can be reached at albright@sptimes.com or (727)893-8252.

Appliance Rebates: Step by Step

• Shop ahead of time to know what you want and where to buy it.

• Execute the appliance purchase on Friday April 16 through April 25. It cannot be an online purchase.

• After 11 a.m. Friday apply online at rebates.com/florida for a priority reservation number to insure the rebate application gets to the head of the line. You must provide a name, address and way to be contacted plus the make, model and exact price of the appliance you bought. Some stores will apply online for you.

• Get a receipt that indicates the appliance replaced was properly disposed of in return for a $75 recycling bonus.

• Fill out and mail the rebate application by May 10 and wait for a pre-paid debit card to reimburse you for the rebate amount.



Which appliances qualify?

Energy Star-rated refrigerators, freezers, tankless gas water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and room air conditioners.

Which appliances do not qualify?

Ovens, dryers, central air-conditioning units.

Who qualifies?

Buyers of appliances bought for personal use. First-come, first-served mail-in rebates until all $17.6 million is claimed, an estimated 68,000 appliances in Florida.

What does not qualify?

Appliances bought for commercial use, including landlords and condo associations. Any appliance purchased online.

What limits apply?

The limit on the total rebates one household may claim is $1,500.

Can I get a rebate for an Energy Saver appliance I already purchased?

No. The purchase must be made April 16 through 25.

Where can I find more information?

www.rebates.com/florida

Sources: Florida Energy and Climate Commission, U.S. Department of Energy

Stores to open early for next week's appliance rebate program 04/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 9, 2010 6:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  3. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  4. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette

    News

    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  5. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]