The ubiquitous garage or basement refrigerator that chilled many a summer beverage. The old freezer full of icy bricks of who-knows-what dating back to who-knows-when? They probably seemed like a good idea at one time, but now they pose a substantial burden to your electric bill.
Perhaps you are overdue for a modern upgrade, or just don't need that extra fridge or freezer at all. With an enhanced recycling program, you can get paid to get rid of them.
National Grid is kicking off its enhanced recycling program that now pays up to $100 to upstate New York residential electric customers to recycle old refrigerators and freezers.
"The program gives an extra incentive to upgrade fridges and freezers that use an excessive amount of energy," said Jim Stapleton, manager of energy efficiency execution at National Grid. "If customers participate now, they can earn some money and know that their old unit is safely and responsibly recycled - not sent to rust in a landfill."
The relaunched program has kicked up the incentive from $30 when first launched in 2010, to $50 today. In addition, National Grid will now allow customers to recycle up to two cooling units, including the primary unit in use in the home.
"We are glad to bring the popular program back and offer a greater incentive to encourage our upstate New York residential customers an opportunity to recycle outdated refrigerators and freezers to save energy and reduce electric bills," said Jim Stapleton.
To date, National Grid has recycled 26,700 units, which, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, is equivalent to preventing 267,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Models from the 1990s and earlier can require up to four times more energy to operate than newer, more efficient models. Removing an old, inefficient refrigerator or freezer from a home can save the homeowner up to $150 per year in electric costs. In addition to saving energy and money, recycling old appliances is good for the environment.
Customers are encouraged to recycle old cooling units - any old refrigerator or freezer that is clean, empty and in working condition. To be eligible, the inside measurement of the unit must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet, the standard size of most refrigeration models.
Contact National Grid at 1-877-691-0021 to schedule a free pick-up of the appliance before the program closes at the end of December.
National Grid offers additional tips to help decrease energy consumption and save on utility bills:
•Insulate walls, ceilings and windows where you can.
•Choose the right lights: Using five compact florescent lights can save you $9 per month.
•Limit the use of space heaters: Used for 12 hours a day, they can cost up to $60 per month.
•Switch to ENERGY STAR appliances. They use up to 40 percent less energy than conventional models sold before 2001.
•Think before you wash and dry clothes. Dry only full loads of laundry and use the cold water setting on the washer.
•Unplug electronics: Turn off the computer at night and save up to $10 per month.
•Lower your thermostat when you're asleep or away: A 6-9 degree adjustment can save up to 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills.
•Change furnace filters. Change every month to save on energy costs and extend the life of your equipment.
•Drop the temperature on your water heater. Set it to 120 degrees to save energy and prevent burns.
Visit www.nationalgridus.com for the latest money-saving offers and rebates on heating, cooling, hot water systems and more.