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BATON ROUGE, La.-- The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says that, beginning Saturday, Louisiana residents who buy new energy-efficient appliances can get rebates ranging from $75 to $500.

Clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters and heating and air conditioning systems are covered.

DNR got $6.8 million in federal stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Energy for the EmPower Louisiana rebate program. It will last until February 2012 or the money runs out.

You must reserve a rebate before buying, and can't make a reservation before Saturday. Make reservations through the program website -- www.empowerlouisiana.org -- or by calling 1-877-223-6979.

Within 30 days, you must send proof that you've bought an Energy Star-rated appliance as a replacement.

Each appliance needs a separate rebate, and you can get only one rebate for each type of appliance.

You must also send certification that the old appliance was disposed of in an environmentally safe way.

DNR Secretary Scott Angelle said the program helps boost appliance businesses in the short term, and helps residents cut costs over the long term with more energy-efficient appliances.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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