The Star-Telegram has an interesting article about the energy efficient tax credits offered by the government, but some caution is advised. There's already an energy star tax incentive offered by the federal government which you can find out about at www.energystar.gov ; but now the U.S. Energy Department will distribute $300 million through state programs which in turn will be handed out to consumers who upgrade their home appliances to high-efficiency Energy Star products. This money will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will be awarded by Nov. 30, 2009.
Products that qualify include: central air conditioners, heat pumps, boilers, furnaces, room air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators and water heaters. But there may also be other qualifying products that are state specific, those details will become available by the end of October.
Here's the "caution" part...
There are unscrupulous companies falsely offering "qualifying" appliances that don't meet the program's standards. If you purchase these "fake" energy efficient products, you won't get the tax credit. You must get a certificate from the company that certifies the appliance's energy efficiency if you want the tax credit.
The other reason for caution is that despite how the article makes appliances appear cheap, we all know that appliances are expensive and beg to max out your credit card. Please think twice about using your credit card to participate in this tax incentive program. The interest rates on credit cards are usually high enough to wipe out any benefit you would otherwise receive from the tax credit.
For those consumers who are already facing maxed out credit cards , fighting foreclosure or considering bankruptcy, it is not advisable to purchase a new appliance especially if you're using your credit card. Depending on when you file for bankruptcy, your credit card charge may become nondischargeable if the bankruptcy court determines that you did not intend to repay it at the time you made your purchase.
Otherwise, if you're in good financial health and NEED a new appliance, the tax incentive may be beneficial, so please find out more information at www.energytaxincentives.org .