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Choose an ENERGY STAR refrigerator

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ENERGY STAR refrigerators use at least 15 percent less energy than standard models, which means lower electric bills for you and less CO2 for Mother Earth.

Find it! ENERGY STAR refrigerators

Most major refrigerator manufacturers offer ENERGY STAR models (with the blue ENERGY STAR label), which are sold in appliance centers, home improvement stores, and online. Consult ENERGY STAR's database of qualified refrigerators for specific models and brands.

Before you buy

When shopping, keep in mind that the initial price tag does not reflect the total cost of your refrigerator. Maintenance, repairs, and energy use costs apply after the initial purchase. Buying a more expensive, energy-efficient refrigerator could save you money on utility bills by saving energy over the appliance's lifetime. ENERGY STAR models, for example, can cost between $25 and $150 more than a standard model, but, with lower utility costs, a customer can recoup the extra purchase price in 4 to 6 years, depending on electricity rates.[1]

To see how much your current refrigerator costs to operate and how much you can save by purchasing an ENERGY STAR refrigerator, try ENERGY STAR's Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator. You can do a similar comparison, or compare the energy consumption between two new models, with the Consumer Reports GreenerChoices Refrigerator Energy Calculator.

Another way to determine how much your refrigerator will cost to operate is to look at the black and yellow EnergyGuide Label required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This label—which you can find hanging on the inside of refrigerator or stuck to the outside—tells you the capacity of the model as well as the estimated annual energy consumption. Use the labels to compare the efficiency of different brands and models.

Choosing an ENERGY STAR refrigerator helps you go green because...

  • These refrigerators are more energy efficient than their traditional counterparts. Reduced energy use requires less electricity production, which creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Refrigerators use more energy than any other kitchen appliance.[2] The production of energy creates carbon dioxide (C02), a greenhouse gas: electric power plants release an average of 1.34 pounds of CO2 into the air for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated.[3]

ENERGY STAR refrigerators use at least 15 percent less energy than the maximum amount of energy consumption allowed by current federal standards. ENERGY STAR freezers cut energy consumption by at least 10 percent, and ENERGY STAR compact refrigerators and freezers slice energy use by at least 20 percent. Replacing a refrigerator purchased in 1990 with a new ENERGY STAR model saves enough energy to provide all of the lighting used by an average US household for almost four months.[2]

Tax breaks and subsidies

In the US, the purchase of an ENERGY STAR refrigerator may qualify you for tax incentives at the federal, state, or local levels. For detailed information, see these resources:

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