And Now, Cash For Appliances

The $300 million plan will differ from state to state

Not the same ring, but hopefully more bling.

The latest economic stimulus program, "Cash for Applicances", may not roll off the tongue like its auto-focused predecessor, but the government hopes it'll pump up the lagging home appliances sector.

The program's expected to begin early this fall.

The $300 million plan will differ from state to state, but in general it'll will provide cash rebates between $50 and $200 to customers who buy "Energy Star"-rated appliances.

"These rebates will help families make the transition to more efficient appliances, making purchases that will directly stimulate the economy," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement announcing the plan.

Manufacturers have the most to gain, and they've been hurting of late.

According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, shipments of washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ovens dropped 10% in 2008 and were down 15% in July.

This time around, there's no trade-in required. But rebate checks will be issued that can be used for everything from dishwashers to air conditioners.

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