UPDATE: As of around 12:30 p.m. half the rebate funds are gone. Do NOT wait until tonight to buy!
Illinois residents: if you’ve been thinking about taking advantage of the 15% Energy Star appliance tax rebate that starts today and ends on the 25th (or until funds run out) RUN, don’t walk to a participating retailer. I’m dead serious. The money isn’t expected to last through the weekend, however I have a feeling it will be gone today.
I have been waiting for this date for quite some time to buy a new refrigerator that will complete our kitchen update. I did all my research ahead of time and also checked out the appliances at several stores over the past week so this morning I was raring to go.
The refrigerator we decided on is the Samsung 26 cu. ft. French Door model in Stainless Steel. My preferred retailer Abt surprisingly does not carry the Samsung even though they sell other Samsung products. According to my research on energystar.gov and Consumer Reports among others, the Samsungs not only have one of the highest Energy Star rating (i.e. lowest energy consumption) for an icemaker/water-dispensing model, but they are also rated highest in customer satisfaction according to J.D. Powers.
Since my mother has been complaining about her refrigerator for years now, I picked her up bright and early, Starbucks in hand, and we went to Sears to purchase ours. A similar model is sold only at Lowe’s, however it would have cost over $300 more. As far as I could tell, the only difference was that the Lowe’s model had Twin Cooling Plus vs. Twin Cooling — supposedly a more advanced version of their cooling technology which uses separate cooling elements for the freezer and refrigerator sections — however I figured Twin Cooling alone was far better than what we already had, so it wasn’t worth the extra $300 for an already-expensive refrigerator.
Lowe’s offered free delivery vs. $65 (+$10 to haul away the old fridge) for Sears, but I’m still way ahead in savings. There’s also a $75 rebate through the state once you send in documentation that you purchased an Energy Star appliance and had the old one hauled away. Instead of paying Sears $10 to haul the old one away, I scheduled a pick-up of our old refrigerator through Commonwealth Edison, our utility provider. They’re going to pay me $25 to take it away, so the delivery really is only costing me $40.
The newspapers were likening this sale to Black Friday, the big sale day after Thanksgiving. Sears opened at 6, Abt at 7, but they weren’t allowed to ring up sales until 8 a.m. When we arrived at Sears, there were already quite a few people ahead of us (who were probably the seasoned Black Friday shoppers — I’m not one of them). We were done by 9 though so I still had the rest of the day to get some work done. Now I just have to wait a week or so for delivery!