Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Georgia to Hold Annual ENERGY STAR, WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday

Eligible Products Help Georgians Conserve Energy and Water

To help Georgians conserve energy and water and save money, Georgians will once again have the opportunity to buy energy-saving and water-efficient products without sales taxes during the 2009 ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday this week. The sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, October 1, and runs through midnight Sunday, October 4. Georgians will not pay state or local sales taxes on the purchase of ENERGY STAR-qualified or WaterSense-labeled products that cost $1,500 or less per item.

“Purchasing appliances and products with ENERGY STAR and WaterSense labels helps create a culture of conservation in our state,” said Governor Perdue. “The ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday is a perfect opportunity for Georgians to save money at the cash register and on their water and energy bills.”

This year’s sales tax holiday is a result of House Bill 120, which was sponsored by Rep. Lynn Smith and signed by Governor Perdue into law on May 4. The energy tax holiday is part of the same bill that includes the school supplies tax holiday that occurred in July.

ENERGY STAR designated products meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Qualified ENERGY STAR appliances and products eligible for the sales tax exemption include dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats, refrigerators, doors, windows and skylights.
“With ENERGY STAR products, Georgians can save money, conserve energy and show their commitment to the stewardship of our state’s natural resources,” said Phil Foil, executive director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA).

Many ENERGY STAR qualified appliances use 30 percent less energy than conventional models without sacrificing features, style or comfort. Some products, such as energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, save as much as 80 percent. By replacing old, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR qualified models, Georgians can help protect the environment while saving money and energy.

For more information and to better understand the options and benefits of ENERGY STAR qualified products, visit the ENERGY STAR @ Home tool at www.energystar.gov.

The EPA created the WaterSense program to recognize major water consuming products that are 20 percent more water-efficient and perform as well as or better than conventional models. WaterSense-labeled products eligible for the sales tax exemption include bathroom sink faucets or aerators and high-efficiency toilets.

“Understanding how much water we use during routine household activities can help us all to be more water efficient,” said Carol A. Couch, director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “The WaterSense label makes it easy for consumers to recognize household products that use less water and result in lower water bills.”

According to the EPA, if just one out of every four households in Georgia retrofits their bathrooms with WaterSense-labeled fixtures, it could save nearly 10 billion gallons of water per year. The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill. By installing WaterSense-labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances that use water more efficiently, a household could save about $170.

Visit www.epa.gov/watersense for more information and to better understand the options and benefits of WaterSense qualified products.

Additional information regarding the ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday is also available on the following Web sites:

Georgia Department of Revenue – www.dor.ga.gov;
Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority – www.gefa.org; and
EPD's Conserve Water Georgia – www.conservewatergeorgia.net.
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