Why That Old Beer Fridge Has Got To Go

The saying “they don’t make ’em like they used to” has never been more true today, especially when applied to major appliances.

And no, we’re not talking about how great your old beer fridge is, even if it has been in daily use since you were in college two decades ago. We’re talking about how much energy — and money — you can save by buying appliances that have been rated “Energy Star”.

According to Natural Resources Canada, that 1990’s era beer fridge in your basement or garage is costing you big bucks to operate, because it consumes about 190% more energy than the most efficient fridge on the market today.

Thanks to technological advancements — and a few nudges through tougher regulations in Canada and the U.S. — the energy efficiency of all major appliances has improved by leaps and bounds over the past 20 years. For example, your 1990 beer fridge consumes more than 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, compared to about 465 kWh for an Energy Star model you can buy today.

What can 535 kWh of energy saved get you? Well, you could run your dishwasher 146 more times, run a hot shower for an extra 26 hours and run your clothes washer for an extra 250 loads! Great news for the environment, too.

So before you buy new appliances, do some comparison shopping. First, look for the Energy Star label. Then, look for the yellow EnerGuide sign, which tells you how many kilowatt hours of electricity the appliance will use each year. Finally, start saving money — and the environment! As a bonus, you could qualify for incentives such as tax rebates.

Have any energy-saving tips you want to share?