“Get Your Green On” article for Openline, February 23, 2011

Although it is often better to repair and continue to use items rather than replacing them, an exception may be refrigerators. Your old refrigerator, depending on age, may be consuming a lot of energy making buying a newer “Energy Star” rated model a better or greener alternative. According to the U.S. EPA’s Climate Protection Partnership Division, a refrigerator built in 1992 uses more than 1,020-kilowatt hours of electricity and costs about $100 a year to run. A 1980’s model uses over 1,480-kilowatt hours with an annual energy bill of about $160. If you have a 1970’s model in your house or out in the garage keeping your beverages cold, it may be costing you more than $250 a year just to run the unit. A refrigerator that age also produces about 3,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.

When looking for a new refrigerator, check for the “Energy Star” rating and compare the numbers and estimated savings. Not all new refrigerators are created equally so look at the data carefully. In addition Southern California Edison often offers rebates for new qualifying refrigerators. You may even earn more money by recycling your old refrigerator. Unlike other electronic devices or appliances that may have a power saver setting or can be switched off, a refrigerator runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, if you could only upgrade one appliance in your home, replacing a refrigerator may give you and the environment the most benefits for your money.

Contact: Christine Wied, cwied@ci.ventura.ca.us


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