How I Saved $200 On Something I Use Every Day

Is the price of a new refrigerator preventing you from scrapping your old one?

Don’t let it. In many states, utility companies give their customers significant cash rebates when they trade in the old for the new. Why? Because it saves utilities money in the long run. When you use energy efficient appliances, utilities don’t have to build as many new power plants to meet increased demand. In other words, if a utility can use the same amount of energy to power 100 customers as they did to power 50 or 75, they can continue to earn money without needing to incur new construction expenses.

When you switch to a more energy-efficient appliance, you win, too. First, you’ll save money on energy. Second, you’ll also do your part to protect the environment, especially where clean air and climate change related to burning fossil fuels for electricity are concerned.

Let’s use my situation as an example.

After 27 years, my refrigerator needed to be replaced. Pepco, the utility company that serves my suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood, was offering two rebates – one worth $150 for buying the most energy-efficient refrigerator to meet my needs, and one worth $50 to recycle my old fridge for me. Yes, they would actually pay me to cart my old refrigerator away!

With that $200 in mind, I went shopping. Because of size restrictions in my kitchen, I was limited to a refrigerator about 21 cu.ft. large. I looked at all the available options in store and online, and ultimately chose the most energy-efficient model in that size, a Whirlpool. The original sales price was $849. But with the $200 cash rebate I also earned, the final price of a brand new fridge was only $649 (plus local taxes).

When the new refrigerator was delivered, the delivery company moved my old fridge to the back porch. A couple of days later, a contractor for Pepco came by and took the used appliance away. Within eight weeks I’d received two checks for the $200 total.

I happily pocketed the money. But I’m enjoying another financial benefit, as well. EPA estimates that my new refrigerator is so efficient, it will only cost me $39/year to operate! How can you beat that?

To determine what rebates your utility offers, go to the home page of the company’s website and search “appliance rebates.” If you can’t find options online, call the utility to ask about any incentives they offer to encourage consumers to save energy.

Related Posts:

Simple Energy-Efficient Tips That Save Money
Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?
Non-toxic cleaning Tips for Cleaning Small Appliances

Photo Credit:
American Advisors Group – Piggy Bank
Danny Howard – Kitchen


Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

I just adore my old fridge and would hate to part with it. It's a His Master's Voice and even has a picture of the dog and the gramophone on the freezer door. I've never seen another like it.

Mary B.
Mary B3 years ago

Old refrigerators and freezers make excellent mouse, bug, and moisture proof storage units. Keep them for that if you can. You can always cut the cords off so people don't plug them back in.

Angela J.
Angela B3 years ago

That would be great!! Here in Ontario Canada, the hydro company will take away your old fridges and air conditioners for you so you don't have to do the heavy lifting but they don't hand out rebates on new equipment as far as I know.

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage s3 years ago


Alexandra Hayward


Marianne R.
Marianne R3 years ago


Val M.
Val M3 years ago


B C.
Betty C3 years ago


Lucas Kolasa
Lucas Kolasa3 years ago


Charmaine C.
Charmaine C3 years ago

If only we had such utility companies in the UK. None that I am aware of. Here you will pay, pay and then pay some more.