The $2.7 million rebate program in Iowa for the purchase of energy efficient appliances is already out of money. The federally-financed program launched Monday morning and the registration for rebates was in such high demand that the phone line and website crashed.

Don Tormey with the Iowa Office of Energy Independence says the appliance rebate processing contractor, Helgesen Enterprises Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota, had never seen this kind of turnout for any program run by a state or a Fortune 500 company. The contractor was prepared to handle 850 calls and 11,000 web hits per hour.

Iowa households receiving a rebate will get between $100 and $500 to recycle an old appliance and buy a new energy efficient one. “It helps not only the consumer but the retailer who’s selling these appliances, it helps the manufacturer who makes them and it helps the contractor who might be installing them for people,” Tormey said.

Eligible appliances include dishwashers, hot water heaters and refrigerators. People who still want to apply for a rebate will be placed on a waiting list and might receive money if those who registered do not meet or fulfill the program guidelines. Tormey says around Iowans are already on the waiting list.

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