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Bozeman Daily Chronicle on our Refrigerator Reinvestment Program

From Bozeman Daily Chronicle Link

Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010 12:15 am

By Chronicle Staff | 0 Comments


A Livingston nonprofit thrift store has found a way to sweeten the deal for Montanans interested in tapping the financial incentives of the Montana Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, which kicks off Monday.

The state program will offer consumers $50 to $100 to invest in Energy Star-certified appliance products.

The Community Closet in Livingston announced Thursday that it will take donations of any used, 2001 or later-model refrigerators from customers who buy their new ‘fridges at Truex Furniture and Appliances in Livingston. The icing on the cake is a $50 to $100 contribution to a local charity of their choice, said executive director Caron Cooper.

The store's Refrigerator Reinvestment Program has two goals, Cooper said. It allows the thrift store to remarket still-efficient used appliances. And it gives Community Closet customers a chance to replace their older, more energy-intensive units.

"I'm stepping in because these federal stimulus incentives ignore most of my shoppers," Cooper said in a prepared statement. "Rebates aren't affective for low- and moderate-income families because these folks don't have the cash or credit to purchase major appliances."

In addition, the latest refrigerator standards in the United States were implemented in 2001, she said, "so there might be a lot of good, efficient stock being replaced for aesthetic reasons, like upgrading to stainless steel. We anticipate (the used) units will still be three to four times more efficient than refrigerators made in the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s, and we want to get that sort of savings out of the dump, into the community."

When rebate shoppers buy a new refrigerator at Truex and donate their used appliance to Community Closet, the store will donate $100 for a donated Energy Star model, $50 for any regular model to a local nonprofit organization.

Community Closet hopes to provide up to 20 low-cost refrigerators to its shoppers, beginning in early June.

Thrift-store shoppers who replace their older refrigerators with post-2001 models "should see a savings of $100 to $200 per year, something quite remarkable in these challenging economic times," Cooper said. "The potential for energy savings is significant, and by offering thrift-store prices, the consumer saves twice."

This pilot program, using donations to nonprofit as incentives, will operate only while the Montana rebates are offered, and only for refrigerators, Cooper said.

However, the Community Closet will be working with Truex to accept donations of energy-efficient models of other household appliances that are being replaced with new purchases, such as washers, dryers, and dishwashers.

The Community Closet, 416 E. Park St., is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 222.6200.

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