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MailTribune.com
  • Money Is Available If You Know Where To Look

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  • If you’ve gone appliance shopping in recent years, you’ve noticed that many dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and other units carry tags that tout Energy Star ratings. What you may not know is you can get money—in the form of rebates and tax credits—for buying appliances, toilets—even light bulbs—that save energy.
    Both the federal government and the state of Oregon offer an array of tax credits for energy-saving purchases, including home appliances, high-efficiency duct systems, water heaters, fans and solar technology.
    The city of Ashland also writes checks to homeowners and renters who buy energy efficient appliances, retrofit homes and make investments that save water and electricity.
    The sheer number of programs offering money to consumers may seem dizzying at first, but with a little research you can start putting money in your pocket.
    The Oregon Department of Energy, for instance, has a website that lists the amount you can write off your taxes for an extensive list of home appliances, listed by brand name and model number. The website says you can deduct $150 from your taxes for certain Amana and General Electric clothes washers, $180 for some Frigidaire, KitchenAid and Kenmore models, to name just a few of the hundreds listed. Numerous dishwashers and refrigerators are listed that can save $50 in state taxes.
    The city of Ashland, through its conservation division, offers zero interest loans, free home inspections and rebates that cover a myriad of home purchases for builders, homeowners and renters.
    Home builders and owners can get anywhere from $250 to $1,800 in cold hard cash from the city for installing things that save electricity and water, including energy efficient windows, heat pumps, water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers and refrigerators, says Cathy Cartmill, energy analyst for Ashland’s conservation division. Even renters can get checks for buying qualifying appliances, such as $35 for a refrigerator, $80 for a washing machine, $60 for a dishwasher and $45 for a low-flow toilet.
    Ashland has given away $16,500 to owners and builders of new homes since starting its energy conservation programs in 2002. The city has spent an estimated $10 million on energy conservation measures overall, which includes staff salaries, rebates and services such as free home inspections, zero-interest loans and weatherization. The city would give away even more money if more people knew about the programs, Cartmill says.
    Rebates for energy-efficient appliances are also available through the Energy Trust of Oregon, which has an extensive list of eligible appliances—along with mail-in rebate forms—on its website.
    Public utilities in Oregon also offer rebates for appliances that save energy.
    Avista, for instance, will pay $200 for customers who install a high-efficiency forced air gas furnace and $250 if they install a high-efficiency water heater at the same time.
    For more information about tax credits and rebates, start with the following websites:
    www.oregon.gov/energy
    www.energytrust.org
    www.ashland.or.us
    www.avistautilities.com/saving/conservation/
    www.northwestenergystar.com/incentives
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