The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced a $3 million rebate program for the purchase of high-efficiency ENERGY STAR refrigerators and clothes washers. The program, which was announced Wednesday, will begin Sept. 2.

Rebates of $350 will be available for high-efficiency refrigerators and $250 for high-efficiency clothes washers that meet Consortium for Energy Efficiency super-efficiency levels. More information about eligible appliances is available at www.cee1.org.

According to CEE, the refrigerator is the single biggest power consumer in most households, accounting for about 15 percent of residential electricity usage.

Rebates will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis for completed applications, which will be available on a special website to be launched before the kickoff date or by calling (877) 697-6278. Purchases made before Sept. 2 are not eligible for rebates. The program will continue until funding runs out.

The rebate program, supported by federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and approved through the U.S. Department of Energy for use by New York state, is called "Buy Green, Save Green NYS High-Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program."

Unlike the "New York State Great Appliance Swap-Out," which ran from February 2010 until those funds ran out in March 2011, the new program does not provide rebates for freezers or dishwashers and does not provide rebates for recycling.

"We're focusing on appliances where we can make the biggest energy efficiency gains," NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray Jr. said in a media release. "Our last appliance rebate program helped consumers save money on energy costs and provided a needed boost to retailers across New York, while reducing the environmental impact of older appliances. We are very pleased that New York residents took full advantage of this program, which supported Gov. Cuomo's goals for improving New York state's environment and decreasing energy usage. We expect the new program to be just as successful."

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