News just about out of basic appliance rebates -- but can we interest you in a furnace?

If you were hoping to get a rebate for buying an energy efficient washing machine, dishwasher or refrigerator, you're probably too late., the state website that serves as the starting point for the federally funded rebates, still says they're available at this writing. But Todd Hartman, spokesman for the Governor's Energy Office, confirms that the ones pertaining to basic appliances like those noted above are pretty much gone thanks to overwhelming demand that paralyzed the site for much of Monday. But rebates for plenty of other stuff can still be had.

Hartman breaks it down like so:

"There's a total of about 75,000 rebates," Hartman says. "Within that, there are about 23,000 appliance rebates -- and then within that, there's 14,000 rebates for basic appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers. And it's those high-demand appliances where we're very close to running out of rebates."

That leaves about 9,000 rebates for additional appliances, including furnaces and hot water heaters -- "and we still have quite a few of those left," Hartman notes. "We've run out of rebates for tankless hot water heaters, but we continue to have a pretty safe margin for people who still want to get furnaces, hot water heaters and boilers."

The same can be said for those items and services available in the 50,000-plus rebate pool. According to Hartman, "those include insulation upgrades for the home; energy audits, where folks go in and look at all the ways you can save money; duct-ceiling rebates, where if you're losing heat through your ducts, someone can seal them for you; whole house energy monitors, which help you track your energy in your home; solar panels; small wind systems; and solar hot water systems and solar thermal systems, which is using hot water for heat."

Hartman stresses that didn't actually crash on Monday. Instead, it suffered from "extremely high volume" -- and it seems to be functioning properly now. While the basic appliance rebates lasted longer than they did in Arizona, where they vamoosed in about three hours as opposed to three days, he says the Colorado program is progressing at a rate similar to those in other states -- and he hopes folks will take advantage of the remaining rebates.

"There are exponentially larger energy savings in things like hot water heaters and furnaces than there are in dishwashers or refrigerators," he points out. "It's great to have an Energy Star refrigerator, but it'd be a much bigger impact if everybody swapped out their furnace."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts