Cool your refrigerator’s energy use

PrintRefrigerators are one of the most energy-intensive appliances in the U.S., which isn’t a surprise since they have to stay plugged in all the time to maintain the appropriate temperature. But, new fridges are far more efficient than older models. Just think: The energy use of residential refrigerators declined by 50 percent from 1987 to 2010.

The U’s Energy Management office wants to get in on that energy-saving action. This summer, the group announced a Refrigerator Replacement Program for University of Utah departments. Here is how it works:

Facilities’ Energy Management is now offering departments the opportunity to replace 2001 or older residential grade refrigerators with new Energy Star models that can save hundreds of dollars in energy costs over its lifetime.

Energy Management will contribute up to five times the annual energy cost savings toward the purchase of a new refrigerator/freezer. Additionally, if a department can decommission an old refrigerator without replacing it for at least three years, a $250 incentive is available, and Energy Management will also pay for the disposal of the old refrigerator. The decommissioning rebate is available for lab-grade refrigerators and ultra-low freezers as well. Personal refrigerators on campus are not eligible for this program.

Once a refrigerator is identified for the program, Energy Management will collect data about the current energy use for a few weeks in order to determine the energy cost savings of converting to a newer model. This information will be used to calculate the grant amount available for the department to purchase a new refrigerator.

To participate in the program, email with your name, contact information, and location of the refrigerator you wish to replace or decommission. Energy Management will then contact you to schedule a time to log data on the current refrigerator. Energy Management will also assist in the purchase of the new model and recycle the old refrigerator.

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