Florida Tax Holiday for Energy Star, Governor's Proclamation for Energy Awareness Month
Florida consumers are celebrating a tax holiday for Energy Star® appliances from October 5 − 11. The idea of a tax holiday is not new to the Sunshine State. In the past, the Florida Department of Revenue has offered tax holidays for back-to-school clothing and hurricane preparation supplies. The holiday is part of the Florida Energy Act, which the Florida Legislature passed earlier in the year. See Florida Governor Jeb Bush's October 5 press release.
This year, Florida is having its first energy-efficiency sales tax holiday. It offers consumers the option to buy refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, light bulbs, and a few other items without paying sales tax, as long as they are for personal use, the price is $1,500 or less, and they bear the Energy Star label. That's a saving of 6.0% to 6.5%, depending on the county.
Some retailers have scheduled sales during this time. They will feature Energy Star products, which consume as much as 50% less energy than other comparable appliances. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, an energy-efficient washing machine can save $100 per year in utility costs over a 12-year-old machine. An Energy Star dishwasher can save up to $25 each year on utility bills compared to the 12-year-old model.
Appliance stores expect the tax holiday, which falls during Energy Awareness Month, to drive up sales. But it's not just the big tag items that are getting the spotlight. Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Sarah Williams said if each household in Florida replaced just one light bulb with an incandescent or fluorescent bulb, the state would save 351 million kilowatt hours of electricity in a year.
The Florida Energy Office publishes details about the tax holiday.
On October 2, Governor Bush issued a proclamation declaring October Energy Awareness Month. Florida joins a number of states across the country that dedicate the month to energy. Read the proclamation (PDF 191 KB).