The Texas Comptroller's office is adding more money to the upcoming ENERGY STAR appliance mail-in rebate program to allow more Texans to take advantage of rebates. An additional $8.5 million is being added to the initial $10 million.  The money is from unused public sector energy efficiency funds transferred from the State Energy Program to the rebate program.  All funds are part of the federal stimulus program.

The purchase period for the $18.5 million Texas Appliance Mail-In Rebate Program begins next week. Consumers can start buying appliances on Dec. 20 and, after installation, mail in a completed rebate application form and a copy of the receipt to apply for the rebates. The mail-in rebate program will remain open until the available funds are distributed.

The rebate application form is available to download and print in advance at"> This is the fastest way for consumers to get a form. A link to the form has also been forwarded to retailers to assist customers at stores. Texans can also pick up a form at Comptroller field offices around the state. A list of field offices is available at"> If necessary, consumers who cannot download a form could also call an automated customer information line at (855) 556-1312 and leave a message to have a form mailed to their home. An application form is not required at the time of purchase, but is needed at the time of installation for disposal information.

Consumers who buy an ENERGY STARŪ appliance must replace and dispose of an old appliance of the same type to be eligible for a rebate.  An additional $75 rebate is available for recycling the old appliance. Proof of disposal or recycling is required on the rebate application.

Rebate applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the postmark on the rebate application envelope. Both the appliance purchase receipt and the postmark on the envelope submitting the rebate application form must be dated on or after Dec. 20, 2010.

After the program starts, a daily countdown calculator of rebate funds will be available online to help consumers gauge the amount of funds processed and amount available for rebates.  Shoppers could also call the customer information line for those amounts.

Answers to frequently asked questions and other helpful consumer information are available at"> 

Rebates are as follow:

Eligible ENERGY STARŪ Appliances Rebate Amount Air-Source Heat Pumps $1,000 Central Air Conditioners $1,000 Clothes Washers* $100 Dishwashers $85 Freezers** $100 Refrigerators** $175 Room Air Conditioners $40 Water Heaters *** $300

* Modified Energy Factor 2.0 or greater and Water Factor 6.0 or less

** 14.5 cubic feet or greater

*** Water heater ENERGY STAR criteria were upgraded on Sept. 1, 2010. Only water heaters that meet the new standard are eligible for rebates.