Fabulous news for folks who missed out on the Cash for Clunkers program: a new $300 million rebate program is being developed that will give back green to consumers buying green; green home appliances, that is.

The program — currently in planning stages but active at the end of this year or in early 2010 — will reward those buying EnergyStar appliances with rebates of $50 to $200 in government gravy. Not too shabby. And no, you don’t have to drag your old, inefficient fridge, stove, dishwasher, or AC unit into your local Best Buy to qualify for a rebate.

Even though the program is funded by federal stimulus money, it will be operated on a state-by-state basis with each state receiving different allotments. The Department of Energy is recommending that states focus the rebates programs on heating and cooling devices, appliances, and water heaters. The goal of the rebate program, like Cash for Clunkers, is to stimulate the economy and give Mother Nature a rest by taking energy-guzzling old appliances out of the equation and replacing them with more efficient ones.

Writes the Associated Press:

The rebates might spur new appliance sales, which would help an industry that's really been struggling — sales of big-ticket items like major appliances have slumped in the recession. So far this year, shipments of new appliances to retailers are down 15 percent, according to the trade group. That's on top of a 10 percent drop last year.
So if you’re considering buying yourself an, umm, new water heater for Christmas and want to save a few bucks, it’s your lucky day. And stay tuned … specific rebate plans from each participating state won’t be announced until mid-October. 

Via [New York Times]

Photo: steven.mastro

MNN homepage image incorporates the EnergyStar logo and house photo by alexsl/iStockphoto

Also on MNN: The clothesline debate gets a push with a passionate documentary.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Government green for green household appliances
Now that Cash for Clunkers is history, a new program will reward consumers for buying EnergyStar-branded products.