Photo courtesy of www.energystar.gov.

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From the State of North Carolina Office of Gov. Bev Perdue, shared Nov. 3:

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RALEIGH North Carolina consumers will be able to find significant savings on the purchase of energy efficient appliances during the state’s annual tax-free ENERGY STAR weekend, which runs Friday, Nov. 4 through Sunday, Nov. 6.  The tax-free weekend gives consumers a break from state and local taxes on big-ticket items such as clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators and other appliances that carry the “Energy Star” label.

“In this economy, I’m working aggressively to boost private businesses in North Carolina while creating savings for cash-strapped consumers. With the ‘Energy Star’ sales tax holiday, families will save on the cost of home appliances and their utility bills, while keeping the environment clean,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “And most importantly, more people in the checkout lines means more consumer spending, and ultimately more jobs.”

“Energy Star” products are designed to operate more efficiently, resulting in the production of less greenhouse gas.  The products also use less energy, saving consumers money on their power bills.  The products meet the energy efficient standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats will be exempt from state and local taxes during the holiday provided they carry the “Energy Star” label.  The items will be exempt from state and local sales and use taxes when purchased between 12:01 a.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Items purchased for use in a trade or business and for rentals are not covered by the exemption. Purchases of qualifying “Energy Star” products by contractors who will install the products in structures for customers are subject to the tax even when purchased during the holiday.

In addition, for consumers who live in designated Hurricane Irene disaster counties, they can still sign up to be on the waiting list of the Hurricane Appliance Replacement Program (H.A.R.P.)  While the initial funding for this program have been reserved, it is anticipated that additional funds will be available to provide assistance to those on the waiting list.

To find out what “Energy Star” appliance are eligible and get on the waiting list, go online to www.energync.net and click on the H.A.R.P. link or call (877) 826-8571.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, energy efficiency improvements represent the fastest, cheapest, and largest untapped solution for reducing energy use, lowering energy bills, and preventing greenhouse gas emissions.

Implementing cost-effective, energy-saving strategies would create jobs, cover more than half the expected growth in energy demand over the next 20 years, save more than $100 billion annually, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In 2009 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, prevented 45 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions––equivalent to the annual emissions from 30 million vehicles—and saved nearly $17 billion on their utility bills.

Kathleen O'Nan

Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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