Q&A: What is the deadline for DWP’s 0 washing-machine rebate?

KenmorewasherQuestion: We want to buy an efficient washing machine to get that nice $250 rebate the DWP offers, but we also want to wait until the post-holiday sales to get a lower price on this major appliance. The local salesmen tell us that the rebate will end "soon," when the DWP's fund for rebates is depleted. They are somewhat motivated to get us to act as fast as possible, but I don't want to find out in February that the price has dropped more and I've actually lost money by acting too soon.

Is there a way to get a reliable estimate on when that fund will be depleted? — Mike G., Northridge

Answer: Thanks for the question Mike! It's a good one. From what I can tell, the local salesmen are looking for a little holiday cheer, while your bliss may well be after the holidays.

First, a little background. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants the water they have available to go further in Los Angeles, which they refer to as a "virtual desert." Washing machines, the company claims, "have become the single largest user of water in homes today," so finding a way to save as much as 50% of the water used for clothes washing (up to 30 gallons per load) is a good deal all around. So that's why LADWP is offering a $250 rebate to our residential customers who purchase and install a qualifying high-efficiency clothes washer.

Bottom line, Mike: There is no set cut-off date. I contacted Joseph Ramallo, director of public affairs for DWP, and here's what he said when I asked if the program would continue at least until the end of January:

Yes it will! We have no plans to discontinue the rebate in the foreseeable future, especially given the persistent dry conditions and water shortage challenges facing SoCal. Your readers should know that our $250 rebate is the most generous in the country.
Plus, here's what the DWP website says about this rebate:

Program Guidelines

• Here's the List of Approved Models as of Nov. 2, 2007. Your clothes washer must be purchased on or after April 1, 2007. Application must be submitted within one year of the purchase date.

• Rebates are available for qualified single-load high-efficiency washing machines purchased within 12 months of application date.

• The program is available to LADWP residential customers only.

• Rebates are available on a one rebate per household basis. Repeat purchases are not eligible for additional rebate payments.

• Washing machines must be new and must meet the Energy Star Efficiency specifications for resource efficiency.

• Machines must be installed in the LADWP service area.

• Rebates will be paid to the LADWP customer of record only. Customer’s account must be in good standing to receive a rebate.

• An original, dated sales receipt must be provided.

• An on-site inspection may be required prior to the issuance of the rebate check.

• LADWP does not endorse or recommend specific brands, products or dealers; nor does it guarantee materials or workmanship; acceptance of such is customer’s responsibility.

• This program is subject to change or cancellation at any time.

• To download a rebate application, click on the link below:

Consumer Rebate Program Application (PDF file)

(Photo: Sears)

11 Comments on Q&A: What is the deadline for DWP’s $250 washing-machine rebate?

  1. Mike Gockel

    Well, we finally committed. The January sales weren’t that dramatic, so we waited until the end of February to buy a LG front-loader at a big box store. They knocked $50.00 off the price, plus deleted about one hundred dollars of extra fees that appear on the sales agreement for things like delivery, installation, and pick up of the old machine. It has been working fine so far.
    The only unanticipated problem is that these machines can get moldy if not serviced. The sales lady at the big box store advised us to dry it around the big seal in front after a day’s use. The instruction manual also tells you about a machine clean cycle option, where you run it empty with bleach to knock down mold and other problems. This url lists a soap product you can buy that addresses this problem.
    I haven’t tried it myself, and have no opinion on its value.
    My personal trainer tells me that she has problems with her laundry smelling bad after a front-loader wash, and that several other of her clients report the same problem. If the washing machine manufacturers want some free advice they’d better get on top of getting the word out to their customers on how to avoid bad smells, or better yet design it out of their machines. It is destroying the word-of-mouth advertising for what is otherwise a good concept.

  2. Mike Gockel

    I got the story a little bit wrong. My wife isn’t surprised. I went back to my big box salesperson, and she told me that the Gas company is giving $35.00 rebates on water efficient washing machines, not electric dryers. She didn’t have a brochure on it, although she did on the DWP rebate. Here is the URL:
    Well, it doesn’t really qualify as a conspiracy, but it is good that they are giving rebates where their only reward is a possibility of heating less water for washing.

  3. Kathy Price-Robinson

    Mike, I’m starting to see your point about the oddity of the Gas Co. paying you to switch to an electric appliance. Very strange. I wonder if the electric company is offering to pay customers to switch to gas?
    However I cannot find the Gas Co. offer online to look at it more closely. Do you have a URL so I can check it out? Thanks!

  4. Mike Gockel

    I can understand your not wanting to be an enabler for my OCD, but there is a news story here. The Gas and Electric providers have bombarded us for as long as I can remember with ads about how their product is superior to the other, all paid for by our utility fees. Now the Gas Co. wants to pay me to switch to electric power for my dryer. The cognitive dissonance alarm bells are clanging. There has to be a great back story here, maybe even a conspiracy.

  5. Mike Gockel

    My relatives are giving me a razzing for the obvious misspellings on my prior comments. It can’t be my fault. Your blog software has a very small font when entering comments, and there is no edit feature to allow fixing up things that slip in through no fault of one’s own. Tell the Times to spring for more capable blog software. You have my permission to fix any spelling errors before this goes to National Syndication, but I’d advise you against editing it down to make it smaller or otherwise risk changing what it needs to say. No sense in meddling with perfection.
    While shopping some more for the absolute minimum cost on the best front-loader, I noticed that the GAS company will give you a $25 rebate if you buy an ELECTRIC dryer! What’s up with that? Everyone knows gas is cheaper than electric on this application. When we were forced to use electric dryers years ago they took forever to dry things, and they weren’t as dry or warm as they are with a gas dryer. Do one have to be a masochist to worship at the feet of the Goddess of Green?
    I think I found my new obsession.

  6. Kathy Price-Robinson

    Mike, I tried to post a smiley face but the program said it looked like spam. So here goes: ha ha ha.

  7. Mike Gockel

    Kathy, just a minute, I’m still arranging my sock drawer. . . . OK, its done for today. Sounds like the end of January for final shopping is a plan. Now I need to find something else to obsess about.

  8. Kathy Price-Robinson

    Yes, Mike, I do think you are being a bit obsessive-compulsive. But it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. One woman I visited had two dryers so she could keep up with her washing. She had a husband and a daughter and a small house, but apparently she had to wash just about everything everday. She was quite open about her OCD and even wanted me to include it in the article. So, no, you’re not that bad.
    But let’s try to work it out. I have no authority, other than my gut. And my gut says you will find sales later on.
    A Realty Times columnist says washing machines go on sale in the fall, when school starts up.
    Here’s something from an Arizona newspaper:
    There’s no one time of year when all appliances are on sale, says Jill Notini, director of communications for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, adding that sales depend on individual retailers. But the best deals on all big-ticket items come at the end of the month, and especially at the end of each quarter (in March, June, September and December), says Foreman, when retailers’ sales quotas must be met.
    But Mike, here’s the thing: As I continue to research the best time of year to buy a washing machine, I feel my life draining away, minutes and maybe an hour I will never get back.
    So, if it was me, I’d be a big gambler and wait until January and if it didn’t work out I’d say, oh well, I tried.
    What do you think?

  9. Mike Gockel

    Kathy, how about a prediction? My cousin The Authority says they always have appliance sales in January and February, just wait. Still another salesman says “Oh no, the prices always go up the first of the year because they adjust for the effect of inflation on the cost of parts”. Do you have a source you trust on predicting the future here?
    My son says I’m getting obsessive-compulsive about making this front-loader decsion. Is that fair?

  10. Kathy Price-Robinson

    Mike, thanks for your comment and your focus on the “subject to change or cancellation at any time” phrase. As you see by reading the post again, I got that clarified, and it looks like you can safely wait for post-holiday sales and still get your rebate. Good luck!

  11. Mike Gockel

    Wow, that was a quick response. I do focus on that statement “• This program is subject to change or cancellation at any time” which also appears in that .pdf file with an application form on DWP’s web site. If it suddenly ends I’ll grumble to the DWP and copy you. It sounds lkie it is worth the gamble to wait until next year to move. I hope our old washer hangs on until then, or we’ll be forced to act based on circumstances, the more normal route.