Appliances are expensive. There’s no two ways about it. From dishwashers to washing machines, they cost a lot to purchase. Plus, unfortunately, they aren’t always durable. They need repairs and replacements more often than most of us can afford. So, that’s why it’s important to look for discounts and deals on appliances. And did you know that you might be able to get free appliances from the government?
Who Qualifies to Get Free Appliances from the Government?
Typically, when the government offers something for free, there are a lot of caveats. In most cases, for example, you have to prove that you can’t afford the item yourself. Usually this means that you’re already established as a low-income resident. For example, you receive government health care, unemployment support or child-care payment assistance. If you’ve never applied for government assistance before, then you might have to prove your income (or lack thereof) with bank statements, paycheck stubs, etc.
There are occasional exceptions to the low-income rule. For example, sometimes the government offers incentives to people to “go green.” Therefore you might see a deal for a tax break on appliances. While these are not exactly “free,” they offset their own cost.
Programs to Get Free Appliances from the Government
There are several different programs available to help low-income residents get free appliances from the government. Note that there are both state and federal programs. Therefore, your options may vary depending upon the state in which you live. Make sure to search for information at both the state and federal level if you’re in need of this type of assistance.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is the most popular program. Perhaps you have heard of it before. In fact, 2021 is its fortieth anniversary. This organization helps low income residents with all different costs associated with home energy. For example, if you’re having trouble paying your heating and cooling bills, then they might be able to help. Likewise, if you need to weatherize your home to reduce those bills, then they might be able to help.
LIHEAP sometimes assists with home energy repairs. So, for example, perhaps you don’t need new appliances. Instead, you just need help paying to get yours fixed. they might be able to help. And yes, you can get free appliances from the government through LIHEAP. Note that not everyone in the program qualifies. There’s only so much free stuff to go around. But it’s a great place to start because they might be able to help you.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
WAP started in 1976 as a way to help reduce home energy costs. As their name suggests, they primarily assist with weatherization. In other words, they help you insulate and update and repair your home in order to reduce your monthly home energy bills. Reports online indicate that this organization has, at times, given away free refrigerators to those who qualify.
Check With Your Utility Company
Many utility companies offer similar programs. For example, PG&E has weatherization and energy bill assistance programs. Similarly, Southern California Edison has a program. They specifically state in theirs that sometimes they’re able to replace inefficient appliances with new ones for free or with a co-pay. Oftentimes the utility companies work with the state and federal government to make as much support available to their low-income clients as possible. It doesn’t hurt to ask, so call your utility company today.
The Most Important First Step To Take Right Now
Here’s the thing – all of these programs are here to potentially help you. However, what they offer and when changes a lot. It depends on budget among many other factors. Therefore, you won’t necessarily get free appliances from the government right away. However, you can take the first step. That’s to sign up right now to see if you qualify for these programs. Get the assistance that they can offer now. Then make sure that you read every email and mailer that comes to you in the future. If appliances become available, they’ll let you know!
Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .