Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Energystar Refrigerators

They don't make them like they used to is a common refrain. It is however somewhat inaccurate especially in the appliance industry. Product has always been manufactured well with notable exceptions....The GE compressor recall in 1988 and The Maytag Neptune issues of 1996, but in general appliances last about 10-12 years.
You probably have not kept cars, clothes or furniture as long.

Over the last 10 years, there has been a push towards efficiency in appliances. California mandated it in 1986 (our present Energy Secretary) and the EnergyStar program was publicized. If you were replacing a 10 year old side by side with a new french door, what would be the savings?

With the recession, its a pretty interesting answer. First, there is $110 in energy savings. Secondly, there is a $50 Nstar rebate. For many manufacturers, there is an instant $100 rebate in May with a Yale matching rebate of $100. Then there are a few with individual rebates of $50. If you buy a refrigerator as part of a kitchen package, there could be yet another package rebate of $150-300.

Quick answer: At least $350 in energy savings and rebates on side by sides and french doors and up to $750 in packages.

Not a bad time to change your refrigerator.


  1. I placed a Kill-a-Watt on my 1995 refridgerator for several days. At 20cent per kwh, it uses $101/year. Salespeople have been saying a new fridge from a 10 yr old one will save me $100-150/yr. Can you explain that please?

  2. Mary,

    According to Energystars website, am average size 20-25 cubic foot refrigerator will cost $150-179 to operate. I calculated my old one (just replaced last week) at $146

    Here is the calculatorhttp://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=refrig.calculator

    A smaller refrigerator uses less power, but the minimum savings on a product purchased in 1995 should be at least $100

    Let me know if you have any questions