AUSTIN (AP) – The next energy-efficient appliance rebate program for Texas begins Monday and this time around the advance reservations that swamped the previous offering are not required.

About $10 million in unclaimed rebate funds from an April offering, plus $8.5 million from unused public sector energy efficiency funds, are available in the program to benefit residential consumers, according to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ office.

The new program, funded with federal stimulus money, is a “traditional mail-in-rebate program,” the agency said.

Millions of Texans complained that they could not get through by phone or online to register in the initial rebate program earlier this year. At least 38 million online hits were recorded before the program filled up, with nearly 39,000 rebate reservations guaranteed, the comptroller’s office said.

“Texas consumers do not reserve funding for an appliance rebate,” according to details of the offering post Thursday at “Rebates will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are distributed.”

Rebate-eligible appliances are air-source heat pumps, central air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, room air conditioners and water heaters.

Texas residents with a valid Texas residential address are eligible to apply. Participants must purchase a qualifying Energy Star appliance, save the receipt, install the new appliance, dispose of or recycle the old appliance, then fill out the rebate application form and mail it in, with proper documentation.

Appliance or recycling rebates cannot be used for new construction or for businesses, according to the rules of the program.

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