When I closed on my house last week, I asked the former homeowners question that wrinkled their noses.
“How old was that fridge in your basement?”
They looked confused but told me, “We probably shouldn’t be using anyway, I guess. It was such a pain to move. I don’t know…1960s, I think.”
My jaw DROPPED.
My energy stat knowledge doesn’t go back farther than ’70s models, which cost about $278 per year to run. So a fridge from the ’60s must cost at least $300 to run. That’s some pretty expensive beer they’re cooling.
I think many people don’t unplug their ancient second fridge because they don’t know how to get rid of it.
And certainly most homeowners don’t know that many utility companies pay them money to come pick it up!
Xcel Energy is among the local utility companies with a refrigerator recycling program that offers $35 to pick up a working second refrigerator. Some also run this program for freezers. Of course, you must be a customer of the utility to participate.
Some utilities, like Minnesota Power, up the ante to $50 to get you to give up that beer fridge. Even if you use the money towards a new refrigerator (if you use Rochester Public Utilities, you can get up to $75 for replacing and recycling a refrigerator), your energy usage on the new unit will likely be significantly reduced.
Here’s a complete list of refrigerator bounty programs from the Office of Energy Security.