Texans Swamp Appliance Rebate Program, Millions of Attempts

By: Mike George Email
By: Mike George Email

38 million Web hits and nearly 39,000 rebate reservations made, Texans swamped online and phone reservation systems to grab rebates for energy efficient appliances from the Texas Comptroller’s office.

There was unprecedented response to the reservation program — approximately 2,400 Web hits per second and about 1,000 calls per minute.

The Comptroller had 550 people answering calls on the reservation phone lines. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate program and the extremely high volume of traffic on the Web site www.TexasPowerfulSmart.org, the Comptroller’s office worked throughout the day with the company administering the rebates to alleviate delays related to extremely high demand on the Web site, as well as the phone reservation system.
“We understand the difficulties many experienced getting into the reservation system, and we appreciate the patience of Texans who tried to call in or go online a number of times before getting their rebate reservations,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

The Comptroller’s office will also investigate what appears to be a Web attack that may have flooded the online reservation system early in the day, using nearly 75 percent of the available capacity.

Texans reserved 38,864 guaranteed rebates; of that total, 32,283 reservations were made online and 6,581 over the phone.
“Regrettably, we were only given approximately $23 million to implement and administer the rebate program in a state of this size, and there were some people who were not able to get through in time to reserve a guaranteed rebate,” Combs said. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of other rebates and incentives on Energy Star® products offered at the federal, state and local levels, including the state’s Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday coming up over Memorial Day weekend.”

Information to other rebates and incentives can be found at www.TexasPowerfulSmart.org/incentives.

Consumers have to be on the guaranteed rebate reservation list or the waitlist in order to print or receive the application forms necessary to mail in to claim rebates. Residents must mail in their rebate forms and a copy of the sales receipt, along with any other required documents, postmarked within 60 days of today’s reservation date. Rebate applications mailed in from waitlist participants will be processed in the order received, pending available funds.

Texans can use the rebates to buy energy efficient appliances in eight appliance categories. The purchase period for all appliances begins April 16, 2010. For refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers and room air conditioners, the purchase period ends April 25, 2010. For central air conditioners, hot water heaters and air-source heat pumps, the purchase period ends 60 days from the rebate reservation or waitlist request date.

Disposal of the old, functional appliance of the same type is required for all rebate applications. There is an additional $75 rebate for recycling the old appliance.
For further details on the program, visit www.TexasPowerfulSmart.org. The Web site also has information on more rebates and incentives that would benefit consumers.

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