$8 million fund will help replace appliances for New York flooding victims

Above: Appliances ruined by flooding in Prattsville. Photo by Larry Dauer, from the Huntersfield Christian Training Center's website.

On Wednesday, September 14, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state has created a new fund to offset the cost of replacement household appliances for victims of flooding from Hurricanes Irene and Lee.

The funds will go to hurricane victims who have to replace appliances such as boilers, refrigerators, and furnaces and who don't have flood insurance or FEMA assistance. The program offers a set rebate amount for different types of appliances: a clothes dryer gets a $250 rebate, a hot water heater gets $400, and a boiler gets $2,500. See the full list of rebates below.

The program is accepting applications online at www.NYSApplianceRebates.com or over the phone at 1-877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278).

Read the full press release below:

Governor Cuomo Announces Household Appliance Grant Program for Storm Recovery
$8 Million Program Targeted to Assist Victims of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched an $8 million appliance grant program for those who sustained property damage as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The program will help New Yorkers cover the costs of replacing vital household appliances, such as refrigerators, boilers washing machines and furnaces, damaged by the recent flooding. Grants will be a fixed amount for different appliances and could cover up to 100 percent of the costs of a purchase. If the cost of the appliance exceeds the cap, the program will pay a portion of the total costs up to the cap.

"Our top priority is making sure those affected by these storms have the help they need to recover," Governor Cuomo said. "This program will cover the costs for critical household appliances and help New Yorkers who suffered property damage to save money as they rebuild after the storms."

The program will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Grants will be available for the most critical energy efficient equipment and appliances.

Residents statewide in affected areas will be eligible and must affirm that they have been impacted by Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee and that these products are not covered by insurance or FEMA assistance. For residents affected by Hurricane Irene, grants on purchases of approved appliances and equipment will be retroactive to Aug. 29, 2011, and for residents affected by Tropical Storm Lee, grants will be retroactive to Sept. 9, 2011.

Grants will be for ENERGY STAR© qualified appliances and equipment where applicable. In product categories for which there are no ENERGY STAR criteria, the higher efficiency units will be eligible for a rebate.

A list of eligible equipment and appliances and rebate levels is as follows:

Eligible Equipment & Appliances Rebate Refrigerators (ENERGY STAR) $350 Clothes Washers (ENERGY STAR) $250 Clothes Dryers w/Moisture Sensor (higher efficiency) $250 Dehumidifiers (ENERGY STAR) $100 Furnace (ENERGY STAR) $2,000 Boiler (ENERGY STAR) $2,500 Hot Water Heater Tanks (electric- higher efficiency; gas- ENERGY STAR) $400

Purchases of appliances and equipment, with the exception of dehumidifiers, must be for replacement purposes only and purchases covered by insurance or FEMA are not eligible. Audits to verify insurance claims and/or FEMA assistance may be conducted. All grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis for completed applications, which will be available beginning Monday, September 19 at www.NYSApplianceRebates.com or by calling 1-877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278). The grant program will continue until funding runs out.

Senator Tom Libous said, "We need to help the flood victims in our community get back on their feet. Part of that is helping replace equipment that's essential to their home and businesses. This program is another step toward easing the burden of this disaster and rebuilding our community."

Senator Betty Little said, "As we move from the cleanup efforts to the rebuilding phase after the recent storm destruction, this rebate program will allow households to afford the costs of replacing damaged appliances. Governor Cuomo has repeatedly said that the state will do all it can to help those affected by Irene recover, and I commend him for establishing this program that will help families return to normal living after this storm."

Senator James L. Seward said, "We must do all we can to help households who lost so much rebuild without going bankrupt. The flooding and storm damage destroyed many vital household appliances, and this rebate program will cover most if not all the costs of new equipment purchased helping people stay in their homes and return to life as usual as soon as possible. Governor Cuomo has shown true leadership in the aftermath of these storms and I look forward to continuing to work together to rebuild communities across our state."

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "I have seen firsthand the flood damage in our community and spoken with numerous individuals affected by the devastation. This rebate program will help families save money as they replace damaged appliances and start rebuilding their homes and lives."