San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 15th, 2009
Efficiency rebates apply next weekend


Texas shoppers will get a break from state and local sales taxes on purchases of certain energy efficient products during Memorial Day weekend May 23-25.

The 2009 Energy Star sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day).

The products qualifying for the tax exemption are:

·                     air conditioners priced less than $6,000 (room and central units)

·                     clothes washers (but not clothes dryers*)

·                     ceiling fans

·                     dehumidifiers

·                     dishwashers

·                     light bulbs (incandescent and fluorescent)

·                     programmable thermostats

·                     refrigerators priced less than $2,000.

To qualify for tax exemption, products must display the Energy Star logo. The logo may appear on the packaging, the appliance itself or the Energy Guide label. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A product must meet energy efficiency guidelines set by these two federal agencies to earn Energy Star status.

City of San Marcos utility customers can also receive rebates for purchasing energy efficient programmable thermostats and clothes washers.

“Programmable thermostats save energy by automatically raising or lowering temperatures based on occupancy,” said Jan Klein, the city’s conservation coordinator.  “If no one is home during the day, you can set the thermostat to automatically raise the temperature during summer months or lower it during winter months.”

To qualify for the rebate, an applicant must be a City of San Marcos Electric Utility customer, and must purchase an Energy Star programmable thermostat during the sales tax holiday, May 23-25.  The rebate amount is $50 or the thermostat cost, whichever is less.

The city also offers rebates for purchasing certain energy and water efficient clothes washers. To qualify, residents must be City of San Marcos Water/Wastewater Utility customers, and must purchase a qualifying clothes washer as specified by the city. The rebate is $50, $75 or $100, depending on the level of efficiency.

“These clothes washers use about half as much water and half as much energy as a standard washer,” Klein said.  “The utility bill savings alone make them worth the higher purchase price, but the rebate and sales tax holiday really sweeten the deal.”

For more information on city rebate programs contact Klein at (512) 393-8310, or visit the City of San Marcos water and electric utility websites at and

For more information on the Energy Star sales tax holiday go to

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