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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2008

Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday Encourages Texans
to Choose Energy Efficient Household Equipment

(AUSTIN) During Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes when they purchase certain energy efficient appliances and other household equipment bearing an Energy Star label. Shoppers are expected to save about $2.6 million in state and local sales taxes.

“The Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday is a new annual tax holiday that gives Texans an extra incentive to replace old appliances with energy efficient models,” Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said. “Shoppers will pay no sales tax on selected Energy Star products and they will save even more on their future utility bills as Energy Star qualified appliances use 10-50 percent less energy and water than standard models, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

The Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday applies only to the following appliances and household equipment: air conditioners priced less than $6,000, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, programmable thermostats, refrigerators priced less than $2,000 and clothes washers, but not clothes dryers. Energy Star does not label clothes dryers, because most models use about the same amount of energy.

To qualify for the sales tax exemption, the Energy Star logo must appear on the appliance, the packaging or the Energy Guide label. The tax break also applies to catalog or Internet sales of eligible products during Memorial Day weekend and to items placed on layaway or removed from layaway during that weekend.

“Conservation and energy diversity are critical for Texas to continue meeting the needs of a growing population and a thriving economy,” Combs said. “The Legislature created the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday to reward Texans for choosing the most energy efficient appliances available and helping preserve the state’s energy resources.”

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. To earn the Energy Star, a product must meet strict energy efficiency guidelines.

According to Energy Star, qualified dishwashers use at least 41 percent less energy than conventional models meeting federal minimum standards. Qualified refrigerators use at least 15 percent less energy than conventional models; central air conditioners use 14 percent less energy; room air conditioners use 10 percent less energy; and ceiling fans that have earned the Energy Star are about 50 percent more efficient. Energy Star fluorescent light bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.

Full details about the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday are available on the Comptroller’s Web site at www.window.state.tx.us. More information about Energy Star products, including specific brands and models of qualifying appliances and household equipment, is available at www.energystar.gov.

The Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday is separate from Texas’ annual August sales tax holiday on clothing and shoes, which this year is scheduled for Aug. 15-17.

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Find details on all the services of the Comptroller’s office at www.window.state.tx.us, including a transparent look at state spending at www.window.state.tx.us/wherethemoneygoes.

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