SC appliance rebates expected to run out by the weekend

South Carolina - SOUTH CAROLINA, SC (WMBF) - With only $48,000 remaining in the South Carolina Appliance Rebate program, rebates available for ENERGY STAR refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and room air conditioning units are expected to run out by the weekend.

Some businesses say the instant rebate side of the program was sluggish and did not generate the sales many businesses had hoped for.

"With us it's $50 and $100," AVAC President Keith Ferrell said. "Sometimes that just isn't enough to make people want to spend that extra $1,000 to get back $50."

Ferrell says he thinks the state could have done  a better job with the program.

"I think other states handled it a little differently, which made it more lucrative," he said. "I think North Carolina was giving 10 or 15 percent back on purchase prices."

When it came down to the actual logistics of the rebates, however, he says he has no complaints.

"I'll admit I was one of the first ones to panic a little bit over how to get his money because there was so little information on how to claim this money back," Ferrell admitted. "I just expected the worst, but I will say that is the one thing they did very well."

He says the checks have been coming in like clockwork. Unfortunately, he says it will take a larger economic turn-around to bring in the customers as steadily.

Beginning March 31, a total of $3.9 million was available in rebates to South Carolina residents purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances. South Carolina citizens have claimed more than $3.85 million in rebates through this program, or more than 98 percent of the money allotted for rebates. With only about 2 percent of the total funding for the program remaining, rebates will not be available much longer.

More than 26,000 rebates have been claimed through instant rebates on dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators and room air conditioning units resulting in South Carolina residents accessing more than $1.9 million of the $1.95 allotted for rebates on these smaller appliances.

All of the $1.95 million allotted for mail-in rebates for central air conditioning units, heat pumps, gas furnaces and water heaters was exhausted by 1:19 p.m. on April 1, 2010, just one day after the program launched. More than 4,000 rebates were claimed for these whole-house appliances.

"We were really surprised," Jason Poucher with ARS Rescue Rooter said. "We thought it would last maybe at least a month or so and it just kind of went really fast."

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