The New York State Energy and Research Development Agency has given people affected by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee some relief in the form of $8 million worth of rebates to those whose have seen appliances were destroyed by the recent flooding.
Local businesses have seen the effect of the floods on home appliances.
Rick Ruby of Ruby & Quiri in Johnstown said immediately after the flooding, people were coming in looking for appliances that are used in basements and most likely to be damaged by flood waters.
Ruby & Quiri sales associate Cindy Colloton looks at her iPad as she stands near a Frigidaire washer and dryer in the showroom in Johnstown on Thursday.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
"We've had people coming in as they were getting their houses back to order," Ruby said. "First it started with washers and dryers, things that would be found in the basement."
Kristen Crocetta of Allen's Family Heating and Cooling in Gloversville said the company is busy this time of year, anyway, but even more so with the recent flooding.
"We were definitely doing more, cleaning out basements, and checking out heating systems," she said. We've been doing replacements of hot-water heaters and furnaces."
Only appliances and equipment that replace those damaged in the storms are eligible for rebates. The only exceptions are dehumidifiers that can either replace a damaged unit or have been purchased to reduce humidity that resulted from the storm.
"We're trying to help flood victims any way we can," Ruby said.
Store employees have handed out some pamphlets to people to make them aware of the rebate program. There also was a note it about on the Ruby & Quiri website - www.randq.com - urging flood victims to make their purchases early before the funding ran out.
Out of the $8 million in grant money that was made available, about $4.5 million worth had been submitted to NYSERDA by 6 p.m. Friday, leaving slightly less than $3.5 million remaining for flood victims. The program will continue until the funding runs out.
According to NYSERDA, in order to qualify for the rebate, purchases must have been made by Aug. 29 for victims of Tropical Storm Irene, and Sept. 9 for those affected by Tropical Storm Lee. Appliances must meet the Energy Star requirement. However, moisture-sensing dryers are included, as are certain hot-water heaters.
"Our top priority is making sure those affected by these storms have the help they need to recover," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. "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 is being administered by NYSERDA with funding coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information, visit www.nysappliancerebates.com.
When the rebate funds are exhausted, NYSERDA says it will accept a limited number of waiting-list applications if more funding becomes available.
Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.