SHOULD THE CASH FOR CLUNKERS FOR APPLIANCES BE AMENDED?
I suspect the goal behind this program is to help stimulate the economy and remove some older and more inefficient appliances. How would you judge the program’s effectiveness?
Months ago, I spoke to a technician who works in the kitchen appliance repair business who said the federal government was to sponsor a program referred by some as Cash for Clunkers for Appliances. This was going to occur in either August or September of 2010. Apparently, it’s an economic stimulus program called State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program or SEEARP.
This technician ascertains he will not benefit much from this program as he primarily does repair work. If the government continues to offer some form of a SEEARP program over the next few years, he may be tempted to break new ground and get into the new appliance business.
Actually, with this new initiative, are most replaced household appliances inefficient without the Energy Star rating? The Cash for Clunkers Car program tried to remove old, rusty, gas-guzzling vehicles from the city streets and replace with more fuel-efficient vehicles. Now SEEARP applies to older, less efficient appliances. Is that commonly what occurs?
Apparently this program offers incentives for consumers to purchase new appliances to help spur the economy. No issues here. I’m hopeful most consumers are trading in much older and inefficient appliances. In many transactions, the appliance retailers remove the old with the new. Is it required for appliance providers to track the age, energy efficiency and condition of the appliance being replaced?
CASH TO REPAIR THE CLUNKER APPLIANCES?
Another option to help the economy involves creating a rebate program for appliance repairs? In other words, if I have a washing machine, which will cost $250 to repair and I qualify for a $150 rebate if I get the machine fixed, will I seriously consider that option? Especially if the appliance is 5 years old and is somewhat energy efficient, I may be interested if the repair bill was subsidized in some way.
If you help incentivize some consumers to get the appliance repaired instead of discarding, will many consider this option? If efficiency and helping the environment are two objectives of this policy, let’s not automatically dispose of a 6 year old washing machine because it’s 20% less efficient than the newer models. Maybe have an initiative where we balance efficiency with the environment?
1. Did they initially pilot this program in one state or metro area to judge it’s effectiveness?
2. Why not design this program in such a way as to allow consumers at least 3-4 days to shop for new appliances? During this last rebate program, all rebate money was done before the end of the first day.