(Alton, February 5, 2010) – Mayor Tom Hoechst said an energy efficient appliance rebate program could bode well for Alton’s economy if retailers enroll and entice shoppers to shop locally. 

The program, which offers instant rebates for residential customers who replace older appliances with specific Energy Star qualified appliances, could spark retail sales, build jobs, and grow sales tax revenue in Alton.  It will also save consumers money while helping the environment.

“Retail is so vital to our local economy,” said Mayor Hoechst.  “This program is a great way to enhance all the good things retailing brings us, from jobs to tax revenue, to quality shopping options close to home.  This program is a one-time opportunity to bring federal dollars into our economy so we hope our appliance retailers will enroll as soon as possible.  I have previously encouraged our residents to shop locally and I hope they will take advantage of this program.”

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) received over $12 million from the American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to boost appliance sales through an instant 15% rebate on qualified appliance purchases throughout Illinois.

Two separate programs will be held.  The first, started in January, offers 25% rebates for Energy Star qualified hot water heaters.  The second, from April 16-25, surrounding Earth Day, will offer 15% rebates on Energy Star-qualified clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, and room air conditioners.  The rebates are for in-store purchases only; no online sales are eligible.

Retailers will be encouraged to use DCEO-provided point-of-purchase materials to promote the program, although retailers will be permitted to use their own materials.

Enrolling in the program only requires retailers to complete a simple agreement listing all participating state locations.  Enrollment can be done online or by contacting the Illinois Retail Merchants Association at 312-726-4600.  The enrollment form, program requirements, and other information are available at www.helpgreenillinois.org.

Once the appliance rebate program begins, participating retailers will be required to report sales each day at the same website.  To receive payment on rebates, retailers must detail the make, model, purchase price, date purchased, the customer’s zip code, and submit monthly invoices to DCEO.  Invoices will be paid within 30 days of receipt.

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