Air district has rebates for mowers

Sun-Star StaffJune 8, 2013 

Going green doesn't just mean adding solar panels to the house, recycling used items or driving a hybrid vehicle.

It can be as simple as altering how those routine weekend chores are done by switching from gas-powered lawn mowers to electric models.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District hopes to get more people to make the change from gas to electric mowers through its Clean Green Yard Machines rebate program.

The district announced Tuesday it's offering $1 million in rebates as an incentive to get more people to go electric when cutting the lawn. The program was retooled from the earlier voucher-based system, officials said.

"This is by far our most popular consumer program, and with this historic funding level, we're able to help more valley residents," said Samir Sheikh, the district's coordinator of incentive programs.

Rebates of as much as $250 are granted on a sliding scale depending on the price of the new electric mower. That will allow consumers to purchase larger, more costly models that better fit their needs, officials said.

Program participants must be residents of the eight-county district, which includes Merced and Stanislaus. Other requirements include:

Purchase must be made from manufacturer-authorized dealers and retailers, including hardware and home improvement stores.

Applicants must replace a functioning gas- or diesel-powered mower with a new, cordless, battery-powered mower by surrendering the old one to an program-authorized dismantler.

Electric mowers must be new, not previously owned or used.

Rebates are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

District officials said the program is important because electric mowers dramatically reduce emissions from the air basin.

For complete guidelines, lists of eligible mowers and authorized dismantlers, go to the district website at www.valleyair.org or call (559) 230-5800.

People can contact the nearest regional office: (559) 230-6000 for the Fresno area and (209) 557-6400 for the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

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