Appliance Rebate Fiasco

(Someone had better fix this problem quickly. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

I thought that the appliance rebate was going to make some good headlines for Gov. Culver.  But it looks like it is going down as a fiasco.  The program was supposed to start at 8:00AM today, but by 8:10, the website was already down.  

It only had the message: "The service is unavailable."  

 The phone lines are also jammed.  Most of the time I don't even get a busy signal, it just leaves me hanging, listening to static.  Has anyone else tried to get a rebate yet?

UPDATE from desmoinesdem: The $2.8 million in stimulus money for these rebates in Iowa was exhausted in one day. Representative Bruce Braley has urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “to include funding for clean energy appliance rebate programs in any jobs legislation considered by the House.”

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  • a bit early

    to call the program a failure, but I understand your frustration. I hope they get the site/phone lines working.

    I’ll see if I know anyone else who’s had a similar problem.

  • website still not working

    as of 9:45 am today. Here’s more about the program:

    Iowa’s appliance rebate program will begin March 1, 2010 at 8:00 AM, see details of updated announcement. Part of the Federal economic stimulus, the Iowa Energy Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program, will offer approximately 9,000 Iowa homeowners a rebate for replacing their old appliance with a qualifying energy efficient model purchased from an Iowa retailer.

    To visit the State of Iowa program-specific rebate web site go to: The toll free number is 1-877-267-7495. Starting on March 1st at 8:00 AM, the toll free number will be open for business Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, the web site is accessible 24 hours.

    • 10:45 Update

      The website is still down, and so are the phone lines.  But at least I am getting a busy signal now, I guess that’s progress.

  • KCCI-TV in Des Moines

    • Comment from Gazette Online

      There is a growing list of comments on the Cedar Rapids Gazette website.  One of them was interesting, but I have no idea if it is true.

      Finally got through on the phone after an hour and 15 minutes…was told the system was down, but not because of an overload. Apparently, it has not yet been up and running due to technical problems unrelated to volume, so they have yet to assign any rebates either over the phone or through the website. They are just advising people to call back. They weren’t taking any information over the phone since call backs would tie up their phone lines even more. She said they were working on the problem and hoped to get the system working within the hour and the best bet would be to keep checking the website http://www.IowaApplianceRebate… As soon as the system is working, you will be able to access the application online and she said it would be able to handle the expected volume with no issue. So, that will probably be your best bet for now, instead of, like me, wasting your time calling on the phone, only to get a person telling me the system isn’t yet running!

    • WHO report

      At 11:05, WHO reported that the whole system is shut down, and that they hope to be operational later today.  I’m going to hold off on further updates until something changes, but it sure looks like this is going to lead the evening news tonight.

  • forgot to mention

    that this is not a state program, it’s a federal initiative using funds from last year’s stimulus bill. It is administered by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, but it wasn’t a Culver administration invention.

  • After much redialing I got in via phone,

    was apologized to (and placed on hold by a recording), then after waiting for a while, was told to call back later – and hung up on.

  • They ran out of money about 3:00PM

    Now they are only taking names for the waiting list.  I never got through on the phone, and the web site never got past the page for entering my name and address.

    • I just got in, and was told there is still money -

      just before they put me on hold, let me sit, then came back to say, “call back later” – and hung up on me again.

      • Just to maybe help someone else

        I can confirm that, as mentioned elsewhere on the web, Firefox works on the rebate site where IE and Safari don’t.

        Of course, the money has run out; waiting list only for everything. 2.7 million gone in less than 6 hours.

        • interesting

          because this morning I tried to get on the site using Firefox, and couldn’t get through.

          The rebate certainly seems to have stimulated a lot of appliance purchases. In the long run many people will save energy and money on utility bills. I