New Rules Mean Hundreds in Energy Savings With Your Next Refrigerator

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Buy a new fridge, and you could see your utility bills drop because of new refrigerator energy-efficiency standards.

If you’ve been thinking about replacing your refrigerator, now may be the time to buy.

New federal efficiency standards for fridges could reduce energy use by up to 25 percent, compared with 10-year-old models, potentially saving you big bucks on your utility bill, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

Based on recommendations from energy-efficiency proponents and appliance manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Energy issued revised standards for refrigerators and freezers in August 2011, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project said. Those new standards took effect Sept. 15.

A manufacturers association press release said a fridge built under the new rules offers significant savings:

In 1978, the average 18-cubic-foot, top-mount freezer refrigerator consumed about 2,250 kilowatt-hours per year. Today’s top-mount refrigerator has a larger average capacity, about 19.7 cubic feet, and uses just 412 kilowatt-hours per year. That equates to an electric utility savings of about $220 per year.

The Hill said the new refrigerator standards could lead to savings of up to $36 billion in utility costs over the next 30 years, or $215 to $270 each year, even after factoring in the cost of buying the new fridges. Says The Hill:

Beyond consumer savings, the efficiency standards will also be good for the environment, green groups say. Over the next 30 years, the DOE estimates they will cut carbon emissions by [the] equivalent [of] taking 70 million cars off the road for one year.

Check out for more information on the new efficiency standards.

Will the energy-efficiency standards push you to a buy a new fridge? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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