Rebates Offered For Energy Star Products

26 01 2010

Following the rebate programs for energy-efficient car purchases and for solar energy projects, states are now  offering rebates for energy- efficient appliance purchases.

According to an article in Sunday’s Hartford Courant, $3.4 million dollars will be distributed during the Connecticut program, which began yesterday and  continues through April 30. It is part of a national $296 million stimulus program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Here’s a youtube video explaining a  similar program going into effect in Massachusetts next month:

Rebates, ranging from $50 to $500, are available for specific Energy Star appliances. The list of qualified appliances includes refrigerators, clothes washers, and freezers.

When discussing the program with my parents, who bought a new washer and dryer two or three years ago, they said they wished they waited to make those purchases.

I’m sure many other homeowners in Connecticut feel the same way.

There a few restrictions to this program. Appliances must replace existing models to qualify. Also, appliances purchased before yesterday are ineligible.

I just have one more question: Why is this program temporary? I feel that it would have a greater impact if it lasted for a  longer period of time.

The article says that it is unknown whether these funds will be replenished. Why isn’t this a certainty? I don’t understand why more money hasn’t been invested in this program, especially since environmental issues are at the top of Obama’s agenda, but it seems like this is a trial period for the program.

The program has an interesting concept, but there are a lot of questions I have left unanswered.

If you are interested in the program, go to www. ct.gov/opm/appliance rebate for more i nformation and rebate forms. If you need a form mailed, call 1-877-947-3873.





A Peek Inside an Israeli’s Refrigerator

15 04 2009

When I was trying to decide what to blog about, a recent post on the blog “Treehugger” jumped out at me because it was about the diet of an Israeli native, a country I visited the summer before last for 10 days as part of the BirthRight Israel program.

Karin Kloosterman, a native of Jerusalem, Israel, wrote this blog about his diet, providing a full description of the contents of his refrigerator.

Below is a picture Karin took of his refrigerator:

The post was a reminder of one of the major differences I noticed between Israelis and Americans while on my trip: their diets. It is common knowledge that the United States has an obesity problem. Israel, on the other hand, does not. I didn’t see a single obese person during the week and a half I spent there. Even the snacks Israelis eat seem to be mostly healthy!

To see what I mean, examine the contents of Karin’s refrigerator. We see that Karin eats a lot of vegetables and other local and organically grown foods. The  items in his refrigerator include organic lentil sprouts, organic goat cheese,  parsley, green onions and tomatoes, among many other healthy options.

Americans, on the other hand, like their ice cream and chocolate. According to the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was  a dramatic increase in the number of obese people between 1987 and 2007. In 2007, 30 states had an obesity prevalence greater than or equal to 25 percent!

According to a study done by CalorieLab,  my state, Connecticut, ranked 49 out of 50 on its list of fattest states, with  only 20.8 percent of the adult population being obese during the year 2008. Only Colorado, with 18.4 percent of adults being obese, had a lower ranking.  Mississippi was the fattest state.

I’m proud to be a Connectican!

Maybe if Americans ate like Karin, the United States wouldn’t have an obesity problem!