How much could I save by buying a new refrigerator? How long would it take for the new fridge to pay for itself in energy savings? This is the question I am trying to answer.
My old fridge is an early 90s GE top-freezer model, which still runs well two decades later. However, the energy efficiency of refrigerators has improved dramatically between then and now. In shopping around, I found this similar fridge at Best Buy for $602.99. It’s a real no-frills model, but it’s energy star rated, and it’s among the cheapest. The interesting thing I noticed is that it it consumes only 311 kw/h per year. That’s the claim on the “specifications” page, anyway. In my electricity market, that would cost about $4.50 per month to run–a pittance for an appliance notorious for gobbling energy.
How much electricity does my current refrigerator use? Well, it draws 6.5 amps while running, so 6.5 x 115V = 747.5 watts. If I assume it runs 10 out of 24 hours in the day (which I feel is probably a conservative estimate), it consumes about 7.5 kw/h worth of electricity per day, or 225 per month. Remember now, the new model fridge consumes 311 kw/h for the entire year! So how much is my old fridge costing me? About $36 per month, which is eight times what the new fridge would cost.
If I buy the new refrigerator, how much money would I save in the first year? $378. How long would it take for the new fridge to pay for itself? About 19 months. Beyond that, I’d be reaping the savings month after month. After five years, I’ll be better off to the tune of $1,287 with the new refrigerator.
This comparison demonstrates how dramatic the difference is in energy efficiency between old and new appliances. If you have an older model refrigerator, you may want to give serious thought to replacing it, whether or not it’s still cooling your food effectively.