Buying an Energy Efficient Refrigerator

Energy Star Refrigerators

My home was equipped with energy efficient appliances when I purchased it in 2003. However, recently, we've had trouble with our Energy Star Amana refrigerator circa 1998. In my case, the freezer wasn't freezing well anymore... even with clean coils. Since my refrigerator was 12 years old, I didn't bother getting it repaired and began searching for a suitable, energy efficient replacement. The general rule of thumb is that a 10 year old appliance is worth replacing instead of repairing since the efficiency gains will end up saving money in the future.

I started my search at the websites of the two home improvement stores near my home. In my case, those stores were Home Depot and Lowes. I prefer using the internet to save two trips to the store to compare prices and brands. However, I always purchase the product in my local store to keep revenues near home. Both sites had a good search utility that let me search for new refrigerators by price and Energy Star. However, both Lowes and Home Depot were featuring an Energy Star refrigerator on their appliance landing pages. After a little research on both sites, I was able to narrow my choice to a General Electric and a Whirlpool model that are both Energy Star and the style I was looking for.

With two choices in hand, I visited the Energy Star Appliance Finder site to compare the two models. Both models were comparable in efficiency and have the same Energy Star state rebate. My final choice was down to familiarity and preference for the General Electric brand.

I made a visit to the local store, purchased the refrigerator and arranged for delivery. Make sure that your local store will pick up and properly recycle your old appliance. This is a requirement for most Energy star state rebates.

After purchasing the refrigerator, I went online to the Energy Star Rebate Finder, selected my state and filled out the rebate form to make a reservation. In Georgia, the rebate is a Visa Prepaid $50 card. After printing my rebate reservation form, I made a copy of the receipt and mailed them off to the state environment authority.

If you're in the market for a new energy efficient appliance, make sure to visit our Mapawatt community and read our Mapawatt Learning article on selecting an Energy Star appliance.

Let us know how your appliance selection works out.

- The Mapawatt Team

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Thanks for the very informative article!Just though I'd mention the Sunfrost R-19 that consumes a ridiculous 204 kWh/year, which is 53% less energy than the federal standard! However the drawback of lacking a freezer might not be an option for everyone.
I went to the Mapa community and read the tips on how to choose an energy saving refrigerator. Did not know that Energy Star's Appliance Finder existed, and it will be of great use, so thanks for the tip! Otherwise, I think with today's technology in refrigerators the buyer wont have to worry much as most brands offer good energy saving technology and models, and it will probably be even better in the future.
I've found the lists at (specifically, to be helpful. There are "tiers" above energy star; I picked up a cheap 2nd fridge at Home Depot (our kitchen is tiny, as is the fridge there; we didn't have much choice but to get a (small) 2nd for the basement) which is awesomely efficient. In fact, it's the #1 fridge on :) you really can go well above and beyond Energy Star - which, IMHO, should be the minimum standard, not the goal.
You can find even more energy star rebates at and

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