Appliance Shopping? Virginia Tax-Free Event Points to Energy Savings
Sales tax holiday
If you want to save some cash on new appliances, then Columbus Day weekend is a smart time to buy for those living in the Washington, D.C., area.
From Oct. 10-13 the commonwealth of Virginia nixes sales tax on the purchases of energy-efficient appliances.
Of course, that means the appliances must meet the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star or WaterSense qualifications.
Eligible products also must be priced $2,500 or less for each item and planned for noncommercial or home use.
Virginia officials have made this an annual tax-free event. It is legislated as such through the year 2017.
No Tax on Light Bulbs a Bright Idea?
Among the items you can shop for without paying tax are dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, compact fluorescent light bulb and refrigerators.
A local appliance retailer can point you in the direction of such Energy Star or WaterSense products. These appliances also carry labels displaying the designation.
Initiated in 1992 by the EPA, the Energy Star program identifies and encourages the use of energy-efficient products. Labeling products with the Energy Star symbol allows consumers to save money while protecting the environment.
In order for a product to receive the Energy Star designation, it must meet high energy-efficiency standards.
For the EPA's "WaterSense" designation, appliances must:
• Perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts.
• Are 20 percent more water efficient than average products in that category.
• Realize water savings on a national level.
• Provide measurable water savings results.
• Achieve water efficiency through several technology options.
Every little bit helps, and while building an entire WaterSense home may not be feasible, home owners can save water by installing any of the thousands of WaterSense-labeled fixtures sold at home improvement stores.
The EPA estimates the program has saved consumers $343 million in water and sewer bills and more than 46 billion gallons of water.
"Public water usage has tripled in the past 60 years with the bathroom being the biggest culprit," according to EPA officials.
No wonder. About 60 percent of a home’s water usage occurs there.