Did you know that your household fridge could be one of the most costly appliances to run?
Is your existing fridge as old as the hills? Is your freezer busy growing its own glacier? Or have you got a 'refrigerasaur' out the back which is used just to keep a few drinks cold? The fridge is the mainstay of our homes and is generally considerd an essential appliance. Refrigeration can however account for a surprisingly large slice of your electricity bill. You might be surprised at how many households in Alice Springs have three or more fridges and freezers in their home and what it is costing them to keep these applicances running.
Replacing your old inefficient refrigerator (like Leonard!) with a new energy efficient model can reduce your electricity usage by as much as 700kWh a year, a saving of around $200. Replacing an old inefficient freezer with a new energy efficient model can result in big savings for you. Some older freezers can cost as much as $330 a year to run, while many new models cost less than $130 a year.
The most relevant indicator of the running costs of your fridge or freezer is the kilowatt hour (KWh) value, which can be found on the energy rating label of newer models. The KWh figure displayed is an indicator of how much electricity it will use over one full year of use under normal operating conditions (from our experience, fridges and freezers in Alice use 10-25% more than stated on the energy rating label). The more kilowatt hours, the more it will cost to run. For each KWh of electricity you use in Alice Springs, it costs you 25.83 cents (as of 1 Jan 2013). A fridge that uses 500 KWh in a year will cost you approximately $140 to run for the full year, or about $35 per quarter.
Alice Solar City came across a 20 year old fridge which was used to keep drinks cold. It was kept outside on the south side of the house and was well shaded and ventilated which helped to minimise running costs. Alice Solar City attached a power meter to the fridge for a fortnight and calculated that the fridge draws 1060 KWh per annum. Based on the 2013 standard flat tariff, this is an annual cost of $295.
Instead of having a second or third fridge or freezer adding to your energy bills, consider the following:
Download the Alice Solar City Refrigerators & Freezers fact sheet here.