Cash for Appliances, a rebate program modeled after Cash for Clunkers, was designed to get customers to trade in old appliances like refrigerators and boilers for new, energy-efficient machines. The program was funded at about a dollar-per-resident in every state, but the results varied wildly throughout the country. Oddly, the most important variable wasn't the cash:

The number one predictor of whether a state rebate program sold out quickly didn't have anything to do with how generous the rebates were. It actually turned out to hinge on the program's design. Virtually all the "fast" states required consumers to pre-reserve a rebate application before making a purchase.

Read the full story at Green Biz.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.