BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The state of Maryland has chosen Earth Day to start a program that promotes energy efficient appliances.

Mary Bubala reports if you’ve heard of “Cash for Clunkers,” this is the new version for your home.

READ MORE: Crisis Inside The Classroom: Baltimore County Teachers Rally, Demand Change

Maryland’s version of the federal stimulus “Cash for Appliances” kicked off Thursday. Stores like Sears opened early to help guide customers to energy saving appliances that qualify.

Once they decide, customers fill out a form they get at the store, send it in with a receipt and wait for their rebate.

“Right now, customers can get $50 on a qualified refrigerator, $100 on a qualified washer and $300 on a qualified electric water heater pump, not to mention most utilities are giving an extra money back on rebates,” said Michael Hausman, Sears manager.

The state of Maryland has $5.4 million in rebates to give out. The program ends when the money runs out.

“If you are ready to go out and buy a super efficient clothes washer or efficient refrigerator products, don’t wait. Do it today if you are ready and hopefully the money will be available. Take advantage for sure,” said Christina Twomey, Maryland Energy Administration.

READ MORE: COVID Outbreaks At Baltimore-Area Schools Raises Concerns For Parents

Stores are trying to make it easy for people to find the appliances that qualify. In fact Sears has put a special sticker on the appliances that you can get cash back.

Valerie Jackson and her mom Marion took advantage of the program, purchasing a new washing machine for less than half the original price.

“The machine we picked is a very good buy for the price,” said Marion Jackson.

Here’s how the Jacksons saved so much. The washing machine cost $660. Sears is discounting Energy Star products 30 percent through Saturday, dropping the price to $462. Then Valerie will get a $100 rebate in the “Cash for Appliances” program, plus BGE offers a $50 rebate for some energy efficient appliances. Valerie’s total cost is $312.

“With the economy being the way it is, we thought it would be an excellent deal,” said Valerie Jackson.

MORE NEWS: Preventing Mass Shootings: Seizing Guns Under ‘Red Flag’ Laws From Baltimore To Buffalo

BGE is also giving customers $50 if they sign up to have their refrigerators recycled through their program.