Appliance rebate program causes many headaches - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/7/10

Appliance rebate program causes many headaches

By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's like the 'Cash for Clunkers' program, but for appliances. However,early registration for the Texas appliance rebate program has caused headaches for many across the state, and here in Lubbock. The state of Texas received more than $23 million in federal stimulus funds to help residents replace older, yet still functional appliances, with new energy efficient models and the response was overwhelming.

When Philip Cheney, a service manager for Lowery Plumbing, Heating, and Air thinks his Wednesday could have been better.

"Oh it was horrible," reflects Cheney. Horrible, because the majority of it was spent trying to get some sort of confirmation he was signed up for an appliance rebate.

"I was trying on several computers trying to get in, calling on the phone, trying to help out to see what I could do but nobody could get in," said Cheney.

Early registration for the Texas appliance rebate program kicked off at 7 a.m. Wednesday, two days after the original start date. Across the state, folks had trouble trying to get through.

"We were expecting very high demand. Certainly the demand we started seeing at 7 a.m. this morning was higher than expected. Right off the bat we were getting about a thousand calls a minute through our phone lines," said R.J. DeSilva with the State Comptroller's Office.

For weeks Cheney informed nearly 50 customers about the appliance rebate.

"I talked to people in Abernathy that were trying, Levelland, Lubbock and even Midland. I haven't heard any success stories unfortunately, but there's been a lot trying."

Cheney says if nothing else, the rebate program did to something right.

"It's still a good idea to update your equipment. It's good for the environment and it's good for your heating and air conditioning bill so really it's a good program. It is getting people to do things to think of proactively updating their equipment before they have to do something, so that's always a good thing," said Cheney.

According to the rebate website, the waiting list is now full, but you're encouraged to leave comments at the website.

http://www.texaspowerfulsmart.org/rebate/

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