The Cash for Clunkers program, which offered government rebates to trade in old gas guzzling cars for new vehicles, expired Monday night. Now, a similar program is being developed for home appliances. Lyle Bischof, manager of Amana General Store Appliances, believes it could bring a lot of customers into his business.

“They’re going to get rid of those old appliances that might be sitting in the garage or the basement,” Bischof said. The new government rebate program will give consumers cash when they trade out old appliances for certain “Energy Star” appliances. Bischof, pointing at a new washing machine, says people could also save about $150 on their annual energy bill.

“It’s just so much more efficient…less water, less water softener, less gas to heat up the water,” Bischof said. The state of Iowa will receive nearly $2.9 million later this year for the program, which is still in the beginning stages. No one’s really sure yet how much the rebate will be or exactly which appliances will qualify.

The program should begin near the end of this year or the beginning of next year. The government rebate will accompany rebates already offered from gas and electric companies and manufacturers.

Story contributed by Mark Geary, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids