"As a result of creating the illusion of an improving economy, you actually create an improving economy. That's what's behind this program."
Collins repeatedly reported incorrect info, stating dishwashers rebates were $ 50 (they are $150...significant I would say) and washers $200 if you buy a $1000 front loading washer (washers were $100 if purchasing an energy star rated model)
Bob sez: An energy-efficient appliance can save you an average of $75 a year so a rebate of $200 takes a little less than two years off the total payback time in which people actually make money by having a more efficient use of energy.
OK Bob, now that you've denigrated the value of energy conservation and the rebate program on the air--along with providing misinformation about the value of the rebates--let's look at the numbers you cite here. Say you buy an energy-efficient dishwasher for $750. The appliance should last 20 years, so at an energy dollar savings of $75/year, your appliance is paid for after 10 years from the energy savings alone, and that's without a rebate. With the rebate, your appliance is paid for after eight years. So for 10-12 years, you are actually getting paid $75/year to use your more efficient dishwaher. Not a bad return on your original investment.
And while I'd love to see your "napkin calculations," as you call them, I doubt you account for the external costs of generating power from older coal-fired plants like the King plant--air pollution, water pollution, health costs, etc.
Quite frankly, I was astounded at your nay-saying attitude toward the rebate program and energy conservation in general (Conservation is like a magic show? Really?). It was a spiel more worthy of Rush Limbaugh than MPR.
//. So for 10-12 years, you are actually getting paid $75/year to use your more efficient dishwaher. Not a bad return on your original investment.
Which is pretty much exactly what I said, especially in the original post a few days ago. But it's not automatically a good investment. So let's do the math on that. If you're saving $75 a year on, say, a front loading washer -- goes for about $1,100 and you get $200 back. your initial investment is $900, right? If you save $100 a year on energy, your original investment pays for itself after 9 years. People replace their appliances every 12-14 years, so then -- and only then -- are you financially to the good, and then for only 3-5 years. It's not a bad deal; but it's hardly a 403B, especially if you're carrying debt.
Let's suppose you don't pay off your credit card on time. Now you've got to deduct the 21% interest. But over 10 years, if you don't carry debt, the return is 2 +/- % per year. That's better than nothing, but it's not that great of an investment and if you're buying appliances as an investment in personal finance, you simply have to run the numbers, even though someone might accuse you of being anti-energy conservation.
The other aspect of the original napkin calculations are they assume a dishwasher in which the heating coil is turned on to heat the water even more than the water you paid to heat coming out of your water heater.
IF you currently have an old dishwasher and you use the heating element function, you can cut your energy cost by about 75% by turning that element off. You can do the same by buying a new one and turning the element off.
But much of this energy savings philosophy assumes facts not in evidence. Why have a button on an Energy Star appliance that increases your energy cost by 75% by using it?
This was also true with the Cash for Clunkers. People assume that people drive the same when they trade down to a more energy efficient car. Studies show they don't. The cost of gasoline is the biggest factor in how much people drive. We know that. Take a new car, and chances are equally good that people will drive MORE because it costs them less to drive per mile. But the net energy savings is completely offset by that and, arguably, the pollution caused is increased.
//And while I'd love to see your "napkin calculations," as you call them,
Which you can if you'd go back to the post of a few days ago.
// I doubt you account for the external costs of generating power from older coal-fired plants like the King plant--air pollution, water pollution, health costs, etc.
That's a good point but it gets back to the point of the program. IF you want an environmental benefit, why not just use stimulus cash to pay Xcel to get rid of that belching monstrosity up along the St. Croix? The problem in these sorts of programs is they tend to be evaluated as one or the other but actually they are "Swiss Army Knife programs" that have a little effect on a lot of different areas instead of a big effect on one.
That's not denigrating energy conservation -- which, of course, I never did; that's clarifying the effect.
But, again, we don't really know the effect on energy since the Energy Department chose to let each state come up with its own program. Fortunately, Minnesota took a smart view and REQUIRED it to be a 1 for 1 replacement. Not every state did that.
What's the energy savings in someone, as I pointed out, who didn't have a freezer, who bought a freezer and is operating it?
I would contend there not only ISN'T an energy savings, but it offsets the energy savings somewhere else.
That's just reality. I didn't make it up.
But when you try to ask "does this program really work," someone usually says "it'll save jobs," but when you point out that it won't save many jobs, you get "it's an energy conservation program," but when you point out it doesn't save THAT much energy -- for reasons mentioned, you get "it'll stimulate the economy."
True, it'll do all of those things; it just won't do all of those things with the way the national program -- and the reality of appliance manufacturing -- exists.
//Conservation is like a magic show? Really?.
Never said that. The economy is like a magic show.
go read it again.
You're right of course, it wasn't dishwashers that were $50. It was freezers that was $50.
Is energy conservation good? Of course it is. Nobody ever said otherwise. But it's more important to consider how people use different appliances (or cars).
But the reason I don't apologize for doing the math? Is because we're talking about my money that's help you buy your appliance.
I imagine the local appliance stores were rather busy on March 1. Not all jobs are in manufacturing. There are people who make a living selling appliances. There are also those who deliver and install them, plus the people involved in recycling the old appliances.
I think you are right on about how illusion creates reality in terms of our consumerism-based economy.
I wonder if we will see continued improved sales in appliance in coming months, as we have in auto sales. How much credit, if any, should we attribute to these programs for restoring "the illusion" of a improving economy, and thus making it a reality?
>> But the reason I don't apologize for doing the math? Is because we're talking about my money that's help you buy your appliance.
Wow! Sounds like right wing radio.
where do i find out where my rebate is? is there a site or phone # where i can check the status?