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“Going green” is not just about driving a fuel-efficient car or recycling cans and bottles. Some of our everyday tasks can be quite taxing on the environment, and more importantly, on our wallets. Most home appliances are energy hogs, driving up our electricity bills every month. Yet often it is too expensive to upgrade to newer models, especially as families tighten their belts during a recession.

Massachusetts is setting out to help consumers ditch their electricity-hogging home appliances with a new “cash for clunkers” program that targets devices in the home we use every day such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and laundry machines. Earlier this week, the Patrick Administration announced the launch of a rebate program enabling consumers to trade in old home appliances for cash towards new energy-efficient models. It’s a winning situation for everyone:  for thousands of consumers, immediate cash savings towards new appliances and future savings on electricity bills. For the environment, recycling old devices and wasting less energy.

The state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs estimates that when the program is complete, around 27,000 old, inefficient appliances will be taken out of service. The energy savings as a result of the program will be 2.6 million kilowatt-hours per year, equivalent to a full year’s energy consumption from 340 Massachusetts homes.

This program is yet another innovative component of Governor Patrick’s Recovery Plan, and it enables Massachusetts to become greener, help consumers invest into major components of their homes, and save electricity in the long term.

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