Florida's sales of energy efficient products are surpassing expectations

So your car isn't a clunker? And you're not buying a new home? But maybe your air-conditioning unit is on the fritz. Or your small business needs new equipment or office furniture. Perhaps you have always wanted solar panels.

Then there is a tax break waiting for you, too.

Although there hasn't been much hype surrounding these credits and deductions -- all increased or expanded by federal stimulus bills passed this year and last year -- retailers say sales of new, energy efficient products are beating expectations in the midst of the recession.

The reason, they say, is the prices are that good.

In Davie, Bob Menconi said he paid the same amount for a new air conditioner as he did for the one he bought about 20 years ago.

The price for his new Ruud air conditioner: $6,295. But the combination of a rebate from Florida Power & Light, the manufacturer and a $1,500 credit on his taxes next year means he will pay $3,520.

On top of that, he said, the first month, the family electric bill was $200 less than the previous month.

The tax credit ``pushed us in the direction to do it,'' Menconi said. The old one ``cooled the house, it was just not efficient. We wanted to catch it before it broke. At 20-plus years old, it was just waiting to bust.''

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