Efficiency Maine Launches Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Program That Pays Rebates

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The new year arrives with a fresh opportunity for Maine residents to save energy, save money and receive a $50 rebate for recycling their outdated refrigerators and freezers.

Efficiency Maine’s new program encourages Mainers using older, extra refrigerators or freezers to consider the many benefits of recycling them. The program offers to pick up the old units at homes, at no cost, in addition to paying the $50 incentive.

The extra refrigerator or freezer in the garage or basement may be convenient, but it comes at a surprisingly high cost. Older refrigerators and freezers can require as much as four times more electricity to operate than newer models built to higher energy efficiency standards. That inefficiency results in as much as $250 a year in unnecessary electricity costs for the customer, and also drives up the price that all Mainer’s pay to operate the grid. This is money that can be saved if customers have that older unit picked up and recycled.

Participation is as easy as calling 1-866-376-2463, or visiting Efficiency Maine online, to schedule a free pick–up while funding for this program lasts.

“You get a rebate and free up space in the garage or basement, while we do all the heavy lifting,” said Efficiency Maine Residential Program Manager Andy Meyer. “This is an easy way to put money spent on energy bills back into your pocket.”

Taking advantage of the Efficiency Maine offer does not require buying a new refrigerator or freezer. Appliances scheduled for pick-up must be in working order, clean and empty, with an inside measurement of between 10-30 cubic feet— standard size for refrigerators and freezers. Dorm or “mini” sized refrigerators will not be accepted.

The offer also comes with another benefit — ensuring proper disposal of old refrigerators and freezers, which can leak mercury and other toxins into the environment when discarded improperly. Instead, the old appliances are hauled to an EPA-approved facility to be broken down. The process returns up to 95 percent of the appliances’ components back into the manufacturing stream to become any number of new products, from mobile phones to construction rebar.

Efficiency Maine has a variety of programs, all geared toward promoting the more efficient use of energy, helping Mainers reduce energy costs and improving the environment. It offers information, incentives, training and technical assistance to a wide variety of Maine’s energy customers, suppliers, and service providers.

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Lowering the freezer

Lowering the freezer compartment temperature excessively causes difficulties in maintaining above-freezing temperature in the refrigerator compartment.Domestic freezers can be included as a separate compartment in a refrigerator, or can be a separate appliance.