Rebates can add up quickly - especially when 8,830 are issued.
Through Recovery Act funding, New Mexico has distributed about 8,830 rebates worth $200 for ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators, clothes washers and gas furnaces. The state's appliance rebate program launched on April 22 -- Earth Day -- and is currently winding down, with a little more than $125,000 available for furnace rebates.
Program manager Harold Trujillo says that more than half the rebates were distributed in the first month of the program. As the sixth-most sparsely populated state—according to the U.S. Census, there are only 15 people per square mile. Even, so there was significant participation from all around the large, rural state.
"We made a special effort to get coverage in rural areas, and ended up having participation for all parts of the state," says Trujillo. He also expects the remaining furnace rebates to go quickly as colder weather sets in.
Local store sees impact
Local appliance vendor Baillio's, with locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, saw an increase in business thanks to the rebate program.
According to Paul Vigil, the appliance manager at Baillio's in Santa Fe, customers were lined up the day the rebates opened.
"We saw about an 80 percent increase on appliances sales for two or three weeks following the rebate program launch," says Vigil.
Vigil explains that because of additional rebates offered in Santa Fe toward the start of the program—including city water rebates and manufacturing rebates— the Santa Fe store saw some more excitement about the program than the location in Albuquerque.
"We still have folks calling to ask if and when the program will run again. With the way the economy was going, the savings really made the program pop."
Over the lifetime of the appliances, New Mexico expects to save 9.6 million kWh—enough to power nearly 300 American homes for a year— and 300 million gallons of water—enough to fill more than 450 Olympic-sized swimming pools.