Updated November 8, 2011
Virginia Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program:
The following list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is maintained by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Division of Energy. To ensure consistent and uniform answers to all questions, this is the only mechanism to ask questions and receive answers about the Virginia Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program.
You can submit a question by using this link: FAQappliance@dmme.virginia.gov
We will endeavor to personally respond to as many questions as possible but not every question will receive a response. Return to this webpage soon to look for an answer to your questions. Please read the existing FAQs carefully to see if your question or one very similar to your question already has been answered.
- How do I reserve a rebate?
Please click here to reserve your rebate: https://epm.virginiainteractive.org/eeappliancerebate/
Additionally, we have a tutorial available here: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/ARRA-Public/ReservationTutorial.pdf
- How do I redeem a rebate?
Once you have purchased and installed the appliance, go back to this website and log in to your account to redeem your rebate. https://epm.virginiainteractive.org/eeappliancerebate/
Here you will be required to input data about the new appliance and print a barcode page and a signature form that will confirm that the replacement product was properly disposed of or recycled.
Additionally, we have a tutorial available here: https://epm.virginiainteractive.org/eeappliancerebate/
- Waiting List -- What does that mean?
When reservations deplete the available funds for an appliance, applications will be placed on a waiting list in the order in which they are received. Money left over from unredeemed reservations will trickle down to those on the list.
Please do not call or send an email to ask about your place on the waiting list or to ask us to predict whether or when there will be enough funds to approve your reservation request. The Division of Energy receives a high volume of calls and emails for assistance to complete work on and redeem approved reservations. The more we can focus on this work, the faster more funds become available for applicants on the wait list. Distracting us from this work will only increase your wait time.
- When did the rebate program begin?
The program will begin at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 28, 2010.
- How many rebates are available?
The Commonwealth of Virginia plans to distribute over $7.2 million through over 40,000 rebates to Virginia residents participating in the rebate program.
Most of these rebates will be distributed by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). To help administer this program, DMME has partnered with several utility companies across Virginia who will offer ratepayer funded rebates to augment and expand this American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program. Customers of partnering utilities will claim their state and utility ratepayer funded rebate from the utility.
- Can I sign up for more than one rebate?
Yes! Originally rebates through the Virginia Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program were limited to one per household. Effective March 1, 2011, customers can now apply for more than one rebate. Original purchase date requirements remain the same.
- Can I combine this rebate with other rebates and discounts?
Yes, only if the other rebate is not funded through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Program. Many utilities are offering additional rebates per household for these items and/or are extending the availability (i.e., the quantity) of rebates offered in order to reach more customers. Consumers claiming a rebate through this program can also claim manufacturer or retailer rebates. Additionally, some products in this program may be eligible for a federal or state tax credit. For more information on federal energy efficiency tax credits see the link on the previous page or consult a tax professional.
- How do I apply for a rebate?
a. Click here to reserve and redeem your rebate: https://epm.virginiainteractive.org/eeappliancerebate/
If applicable, follow link to your utility to complete the application process. Please note - your utility may not use a reservation process. From this point on, please follow the instructions provided by your utility to claim a rebate.
Most Virginians will complete the DMME rebate application.
b. Purchase an ENERGY STAR qualified appliance from a Virginia retailer or vendor.
c. Ensure proper installation of your new appliance and the recycling or proper disposal of your old appliance.
d. Redeem your rebate within 60 days of your reservation (30 days if reservation made on or after November 11, 2011). To redeem your rebate, return to the appliance rebate link above.
- My utility is a program partner, how can I claim a rebate?
Columbia Gas and Virginia Natural Gas customers seeking a rebate for a natural gas furnace or water heater and James City Service Authority customers seeking a rebate for a clothes washer should contact their utility directly for rebate information.
Virginia Natural Gas:
James City Service Authority:
- What happens if my utility is not a partner?
Customers of utilities who are not program partners and/or any Virginian seeking a rebate for an appliance not covered by a program partner may apply for a rebate using the DMME online reservation system.
- Is this another round of a previous rebate program?
No, this is DMME's third Recovery Act funded rebate program. Previous programs generated high demand for rebates and are fully subscribed with substantial waiting lists. Please note that this Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program has unique eligibility and product guidelines and is independent of any other past rebate programs.
- How is this different from the Energy Efficiency Rebate Program?
The current Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program includes rebates for refrigerators, clothes washers, storage natural gas water heaters, tankless natural gas water heaters, natural gas furnaces and air source heat pumps. Rebates are only available to residential customers and are a set dollar amount for each product with a one appliance per household limit.
The Energy Efficiency Rebate program is an earlier program which is fully subscribed with a substantial waiting list. When first launched in October, 2009, this program provided rebates for high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, insulation, and windows. A second round of funding in March included additional rebates for clothes washers, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Rebates in this program were available to residential or commercial customers for 20% of the project cost and capped at $2000 for residential and $4000 for commercial.
- How were the appliance selections and rebate amounts determined?
DMME determined appliance selection and rebate levels in consultation with the Department of Energy and our utility partners. Items to be included and the rebate amounts were selected to best accomplish the rebate program’s goals of increasing residential energy conservation through more efficient appliances and stimulating the Commonwealth’s economy and job growth through additional retail sales of ENERGY STAR products.
Heating and cooling can be up to 50% of a home’s energy use and the efficiency of newer products far exceeds that of older units in many residences. Replacing older units with new ENERGY STAR rated heat pumps and natural gas furnaces results in the greatest impact on home energy use. That is why over 72% of our available funds are targeted toward these systems.
Water heating is the next largest user of household energy and as such, accounts for almost 15% of available rebate funding. Many, if not most, home water heaters across Virginia are old and inefficient. With the new ENERGY STAR designation for water heaters, natural gas tankless water heaters can save about 30% of water heating energy consumption and equal big savings in utility bills.
Many Virginians may be looking for other smaller ways to upgrade their appliances and conserve energy. That is why we included rebates for clothes washers and refrigerators as an easy and convenient way to stimulate the economy and reduce household energy use.
- Why are freezers not included in this program?
Due to the reasons described in the previous question, there was limited space in the program for domestic appliances. ENERGY STAR freezers provide only about a 10% efficiency gain over non-ENERGY STAR appliances. In comparison, ENERGY STAR refrigerators are 20% more efficient than the federal standard.
- Why are clothes dryers not included in this program?
Clothes Dryers are not rated by ENERGY STAR and this program is designed only for appliances which have ENERGY STAR efficiency standards. The Department of Energy's Appliance Standards program conducted a detailed study which found that the clothes dryers on the U.S. market do not vary significantly from each other in terms of energy consumption. This is also the reason why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not require clothes dryers to have a yellow EnergyGuide label.
- Can I use this rebate for a Heat Pump Water Heater?
Heat Pump Water Heaters use a top-mounted heat pump and are among the most efficient water heating options. As of May 28, 2010, we offer rebates for a limited number of Heat Pump water Heaters. Only those heat pump water heaters purchased on or after May 28, 2010 are eligible for rebate.
- Can I use this rebate for a geothermal or ground-source heat pump?
No. This program was designed to create the most incentive for the most number of people in as simple and easy to understand and manage way as possible. Geothermal heat pumps are much more expensive to install because of the need for wells or an open water source like a pond. A $300 rebate does not represent a very high incentive for a system that typically costs $20k and up. Most Virginians who have heat pumps have air-source heat pumps.
Geothermal heat pumps were included in the previous Energy Efficiency program. Through that program a residential consumer could receive a rebate of 20% of the cost of the system, up to $2,000. Additionally, geothermal systems may be eligible for the federal income tax credit for energy efficient appliances.
- I need to replace the furnace component of my heat pump. Am I eligible for a furnace rebate?
No. Only gas furnaces that are the primary source of heat are eligible for rebate.
- What are the tax implications of this rebate?
The Department of Energy has received the following written guidance on this issue from the Internal Revenue Service:
- "The Internal Revenue Service will treat payments to consumers funded by the $300,000,000 ARRA appropriation (ARRA ENERGY STAR rebates) as reductions in the purchase price of the purchased product rather than income. Consequently, consumers must reduce the adjusted basis of property acquired with an ARRA ENERGY STAR rebate by its amount and must not treat that amount as an expenditure in determining any federal income tax deduction or credit. In addition, States and other payors of ARRA ENERGY STAR rebates are not required to report such payments on Forms 1099."
For further information regarding this IRS guidance or any tax related questions regarding any of the rebate programs please consult a tax professional.
- What is the difference between “proper disposal” and “recycling”?
Proper disposal: The old product being replaced is removed from the home and disposed of so it cannot be refurbished or re-sold. The old product is handled in accordance with all federal and state waste management laws, which at a minimum means refrigerants are captured. Proper disposal does not include recycling.
Recycling: The old product being replaced is removed from the home and taken to a recycling facility where the following occurs: the product is de-manufactured; all hazardous materials are handled in accordance with Federal, state, and local laws; and all recyclable materials (e.g. plastics, metals, and glass) are sorted and reprocessed into raw materials for future reuse.