Is your refrigerator running?

Instead of chasing after your refrigerator, it may be time for a more efficient model. The university’s Facilities Energy Management division 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. The savings could pay anywhere from 50 to 100 percent of the cost of the new one depending on the age and energy use of the refrigerator. 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 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.

The Department of Biology piloted the program this past spring and identified an old, leaky fridge that was using 10 times more energy each year compared to a new one. The five-year energy savings was $865, which was more than enough to replace the refrigerator with a newer model and save the university $173 per year in electricity costs just from that refrigerator.

“We’re targeting older refrigerators across campus because they are big energy wasters,” said Stephanie Dolmat-Connell, sustainability manager for U Facilities. “This is an easy way for departments to make a big difference on campus.”

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 energystar@fm.utah.edu 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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Have an old refrigerator at home that you want to replace with a newer, energy-efficient model? Rocky Mountain Power offers a rebate for individuals who make the switch. Rebates for refrigerators are $100 and freezers are $50.Don’t forget to recycle your old refrigerator responsibly and earn cash at the same time. Rocky Mountain Power will pick up the old refrigerator, recycle it and give you $30.

 

Annalisa Purser is a communications specialist at University Marketing and Communications. Got a story idea for her?  Email: annalisa.purser@utah.edu