Seeing (Energy) Stars
According to the DOE statistics, a household replacing a 1972, vintage model with a product that meets the new standard will see their utility bills drop by over $120 a year.
"If you do the math, it doesn't take long to see that retiring that "Old Faithful" refrigerator makes more economical sense than squeezing out a few more years of life from it," Amana's Maheras said. "According to AHAM figures, in 1978, the average refrigerator used 1453 kwh of electricity per year. By 1996, that average had dropped to 661 kwh annually, and, today, it's even less. In 2002, when the new refrigerator standards are fully in force, the average is expected to drop to less than 560 kwh per year."
Old refrigerators use even more energy, he pointed out, if they have old, leaking door gaskets and dirty, badly maintained coils.