Massachusetts is launching a new rebate program for buyers of certain energy-efficient appliances. The program set to begin Thursday will offer rebates of $150 on refrigerators and $50 on air conditioners for consumers who certify that they are replacing their current, less energy-efficient models.
The goal of the program is to help homeowners and renters reduce their energy use, while giving a boost to retail sales.
The program is a scaled-back version of one that was so popular when it was initially launched last year that funding was exhausted within 2-1/2 hours and a computer server crashed.
Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia said the state has made changes to the program to avoid those problems today.
"Consumers will have to purchase the appliance first, and then they will apply for the rebate. But there will be an ability for them to check the availability of rebates before they actually make their purchase," Sylvia said.
State officials say $2 million is available for this year's program, enough to fund about 20,000 rebates.
Consumers must apply for the rebates online at massenergyrebates.com or through a customer service center.
The WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This program aired on July 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.