TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Replacing old appliances with new energy-efficient units under the Federal Appliance Rebate Program, and adding a service contract to the purchase - also called an extended warranty - can result in increased savings, according to the Service Contract Industry Council.

“The Federal Appliance Rebate Program gives consumers a discount off the initial purchase price and energy cost savings over the long run. With a service contract, consumers can save additional money with access to qualified repair professionals and tech support at minimal or no cost,” said Timothy Meenan, SCIC executive director. “Service contracts encourage consumers to address minor repair issues before they become major problems and thereby may extend the life and functionality of a product.”

To protect new energy-efficient appliances, consumers can purchase a home warranty to cover all appliances and major systems in their home, including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical, or purchase individual service contracts for each new appliance.

Florida realtor and homeowner Ed Smith owns and annually renews a home warranty on his personal residence, which he calls a “good protection policy and valuable service that provides peace of mind.” Smith said he has used his personal home warranty several times, most notably to replace an a/c compressor, which according to repair professionals can cost $2,000-$5,000 without a service contract.

“Consumers who participate in the Federal Appliance Rebate Program and add the protection of an extended warranty to their new energy-efficient appliances will be seeing green well into the future, as they reduce energy consumption, trim household budgets, and avoid large unexpected repair bills if an appliance malfunctions during or after the manufacturer’s warranty period,” Meenan said.

The SCIC offers tips on purchasing and using service contracts at www.go-scic.com.

Publication date: 05/10/2010