Refrigerators: They've Come A Long Way, Baby!
Refrigerators are not the energy hogs they used to be, thanks to improvements in insulation and compressors that enable today’s models to operate using significantly less energy than their older counterparts.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, new ENERGY STAR® refrigerators use at least 15 percent less energy than non-ENERGY STAR® models—and a whopping 40 percent less energy than similar models sold in 2001.
When shopping for a new refrigerator, be sure to check the EnergyGuide label. It describes in kilowatt-hours (kWh) how much electricity the refrigerator uses in one year; the less energy the fridge uses, the less you pay for power to run it.
Along with looking for ENERGY STAR® models when shopping for a new refrigerator, select the size fridge that fits your home’s needs, and remember that top freezer models are more energy efficient than side-by-sides. Also, icemakers and water dispensers will add to your power bill since they utilize more energy.
Input information into the calculator above such as cost for electricity and your refrigerator model and age to determine how much you could save by switching to a new, comparable model.
According to the calculator, using Georgia’s average electric rate of 11 cents per kWh, a 1997 top freezer refrigerator with 20 cubic feet capacity costs about $121 in annual energy costs. A 2007 similar model costs about $76 to run.
Replacing either model with a 2017 ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator of the same size and model would result in annual energy costs of $45, resulting in a savings of $340 over five years when replacing the 1997 model or $141 in five-year savings when replacing the 2007 fridge.