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Rebate for efficient clothes washers to increase

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County residents will soon be eligible for a $150 rebate when purchasing a high-efficiency clothes washer (HEW).

The $50 increase over the current rebate is made possible by a grant from the state Department of Water Resources, the San Diego County Water Authority announced. Half the current $100 rebate is provided by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the other half by San Diego Gas & Electric.

The additional financial incentive takes effect March 15 and is expected to encourage customers to purchase more efficient washing machines. Such machines consume 65 percent less water and 55 percent less energy.

A high efficiency clothes washer can save 20 to 30 gallons of water per load, compared with standard top-loaders, according to the Water Authority.

A list of eligible machines is available at socalwatersmart.com or by calling 888-376-3314.

Some local water agencies also supplement the MWD rebate, including Otay Water District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Ramona Municipal Water District and Santa Fe Irrigation District. Consumers can check with their water districts for additional information.

Beginning April 22, the California Energy Commission will offer the California Cash for Appliances rebate program, providing additional incentives to consumers purchasing high efficiency washers and other appliances. The program is separate and has a different criteria than the MWD program. The state has indicated that the California Cash for Appliances rebates can be combined with regional rebates. More information on the program is available at: cash4appliances.org.

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