Shoppers can Save Energy, Save Water, and Save Money on Memorial Day Weekend

Sales Tax Holiday on Energy Efficient Appliances Will Be in Effect

At a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on May 19, State Senator Rodney Ellis, State Representative Lon Burnam, the Texas Retailers Association, and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club reminded prospective appliance shoppers to take advantage this Memorial Day weekend of the sales tax holiday on energy efficient appliances.

"I am proud to have sponsored the bill last session that created the sales tax holiday for energy efficient appliances and saved Texans almost 3 million dollars," said State Representative Lon Burnam. "If I had my way, these appliances would be tax-free year round as a way to provide relief to low-income Texans, reduce energy consumption, and decrease green house gas emissions -- all at the same time. It's a rare win-win for everyone involved, and I hope Texans will take advantage of the opportunity again this year."

Appliances Covered
This Memorial Day Weekend, beginning Friday, May 22 at midnight through Monday, May 25 at midnight, consumers can buy the following energy efficient appliances without paying tax on the purchase:

  • Air conditioners (up to $6,000)
  • Ceiling fans
  • Clothes washers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Dishwashers
  • Incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs (certain energy efficient ones)
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Refrigerators (up to $2,000)

Benefits of Efficiency
Senator Rodney Ellis said, "Last session, I co-authored a bill in the Senate and helped to pass the legislation which established a Texas Sales Tax Holiday for Energy Efficient appliances and products, many of which you can see here around you today. Because of purchases of energy efficient appliances last year on the first sales tax holiday, some Texans were saving money all year long on their energy bills. I want to remind all Texans to take advantage of this opportunity for saving water, saving energy, and saving money for their homes by purchasing energy efficient products without paying sales tax this weekend."

Sen. Ellis continued, "The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy released a study that showed how Texas can meet all of its future energy needs with efficiency and renewables. For this to work, we all need to do our part. This sales tax holiday makes it easy for everyone to achieve energy savings. Changing one light bulb that is left on an average of three hours per day from an incandescent bulb to a CFL can save nearly $10/year. This is just one example of how we can meet the challenge of global warming and reducing pollution while strengthening our economy at the same time."

Texas Retailers Association
The Texas Retailers Association brought examples of the qualifying energy efficient appliances to the press event today.

"The retailers of this state are pleased that their participation in this event assists their communities in making strides towards energy-efficient living, while at the same time providing the hardworking families of Texas some much needed economic relief. We are hoping that they get that relief as they make their Energy Star-rated purchases May 23-25," said Ronnie Volkening, President and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association.

Sierra Club
The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club promotes energy efficient appliances because they make economic and environmental sense.

"Increasing energy efficiency is by far the cheapest, quickest and cleanest way to meet our energy needs in Texas," said Cyrus Reed of the Sierra Club. "If you are already thinking of purchasing one of these items, this sales tax holiday makes it affordable for you to buy an Energy Star rated version. You will help to protect our natural resources – our air and water by reducing the amount of electricity that is needed to burn for your home. In the case of clothes washers and dish washers, Energy Star appliances also reduce the amount of water you need. Buying your energy efficient appliances on Memorial Day weekend’s sales tax holiday means cost savings on your utility bills and it helps protect the environment in Texas."

Posted May 22, 2009