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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 14, 2010

Hawaii recycling plan offers $250 in cash for clunker refrigerators

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Buyers of new refrigerators can get a $250 rebate from the state of Hawai‘i.

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• Old fridge must be working and recycled.

• New fridge must meet energy ratings at www.energystar.gov.

• Rebate is good on qualified purchases made starting May 24.

• Program expires June 23 or sooner if money runs out.

• Purchases must be made through 35 participating


• Retailers have arranged for old fridges to be recycled.

• $2.5 million in rebate money is available, or enough for 10,000 rebates.

• 10,000 rebate forms are being allotted among retailers.

• No reservations accepted. Sales/rebates are first-come, first-served.

• Mail-in rebate submission deadline is July 31.

• Allow 10 to 12 weeks for rebate payment.

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For more information go to


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Big Island

General Appliance

Hakoda's Builders Appliance

Home Depot — Hilo

Home Depot — Kona





Home Depot



Hamai Appliance

Home Depot




Best Buy — 'Aiea

Best Buy — Iwilei

Coast Guard Exchange

Disco Mart

Discount Mutual


Gima's Appliance

Home Depot — Iwilei

Home Depot — Kapolei

Home Depot — Pearl City


Midtown Radio

Navy Exchange (NEX)

Newtown Appliances


Pacific Appliance Group

Sears — Ala Moana

Sears — Pearlridge

Sears — Windward

Sears Outlet — Pearl City

The Discount Store

Wada's Appliance

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Hawai'i residents who buy new electric vehicles after the start of August may qualify for up to $12,000 in state rebates and federal tax incentives.

The state yesterday announced it would offer up to $4,500 in rebates to buyers of electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that can be driven on highways. The rebate is being offered in addition to the federal tax incentive of up to $7,500 for qualified plug-in electric vehicles.

The rebate program, funded with part of $4 million in federal stimulus funds, is being offered as Hawai'i promotes use of electric cars and trucks as part of cutting the state's oil consumption.

There are less than 200 electric cars in Hawai'i now.

The state also yesterday announced rebates of up to $500 will be offered to people who buy and install new electric vehicle chargers. It also announced it is working on a grant program and funding assistance for larger multi-site or multi-partner projects.

Both the vehicle and charger rebates are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to the availability of funding.

The rebate forms are available through the state's energy site, www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/energy.

- Advertiser Staff

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Get ready to junk that old refrigerator in the kitchen or garage.

The state is launching a federally funded recycling and rebate program to pay Hawai'i consumers $250 for replacing energy-hogging fridges with more efficient new models.

Rebates will be available on purchases starting May 24 from 35 retailers statewide, and end June 23 unless the rebate money runs out sooner.

There's enough money for about 10,000 rebates, and some retailers are preparing for a rush.

"We hope it will have a good effect, maybe 10 to 20 percent (higher sales)," said Clyde Hamai of Hamai Appliance on Maui. "If people are wise, and do take advantage of this like they did with cars, it should have a big effect."

The program is modeled after last year's federally funded Cash for Clunkers program that provided rebates for buying more fuel-efficient automobiles, though federal officials left it up to states to pick which large appliances qualify.

Local program officials said the fridge rebate will help Hawai'i become more energy independent, boost business for retailers and help consumers save money.

"Refrigeration is one of the appliances that eat up a lot of energy," said Randall Hee, president and chief executive officer of Kaua'i's nonprofit electricity provider, Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative. "It takes an old refrigerator that ends up in the garage full of beer off the system."

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said fridges account for the largest portion of household energy bills after electric water heaters and air conditioners.

If 10,000 old refrigerators are replaced by energy-efficient models that use 50 percent less energy, it would save about 100,000 barrels of oil and 7 million pounds of carbon emissions over the life of the fridges, the state said.

A 10-year-old fridge uses 63 gallons of oil every year. A new fridge will save 28 gallons of oil annually, with the electricity cost savings ranging from $80 to $90 a year. Ray Starling, manager of the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program, said the savings for consumers can add up to $1,700 to $2,000 over the lifetime of a fridge at present electricity rates — or more if rates rise.

At $250, the rebate can amount to 25 percent or more off the cost of a new moderately priced fridge meeting energy efficiency qualifications.

To prepare, Sears increased its inventory of fridges from the normal one month's supply to three months, said Chris Jellings, appliance manager at the Pearlridge store. "We have plenty of stock," he said. "We should be able to get people whatever they need."

The state will allocate each retailer a specific number of mail-in rebate applications so that purchases and rebates won't exceed rebate funds. If one retailer runs out of applications, it's possible another may still have some.


To qualify for the rebate, new fridges must meet certain Energy Star ratings. A list is available at energystar.gov. The old fridge must be working and be recycled through participating retailers, some of whom may include a charge for delivery and removal.

Funding for the program initially was expected to be $1.2 million that the state is getting as its per-capita share of $300 million in federal stimulus money divided among states for rebates on a range of large appliances. DBEDT added another $1.3 million from other sources of federal stimulus funds to enhance the fridge rebate program.

After the fridge rebate program ends, Hawai'i consumers will still be able to obtain rebates for new Energy Star qualified appliances, including fridges, under existing state programs. More information on those programs can be found at hawaii energy.com for O'ahu, Maui County and Big Island residents, and at kiuc.coop for Kaua'i residents.