Dayle Laing

The ‘coolest shade of green’ is the sustainable choice. Dayle Laing is a Professional Speaker and Author who uses her experience and training as an educator, a designer and a LEED Accredited Professional to empower Conscious Consumers to make practical yet beautiful choices for sustainable living, reducing their carbon footprint while enhancing their body, mind & spirit.

great_refrigerator_roundup_pickup_350How would you feel if ¼ of your household electricity consumption walked out the door in the form of one appliance?

Hooray! That’s what I felt. Men from the “Great Refrigerator Roundup” program in my municipality picked up my old still-operating chest freezer and took it away for recycling.

great_refrig_roundup_logo_100It is time for us to identify the major energy culprits. A colleague of mine takes issue with our focus on tiny culprits like cell phone charger phantom loads, while we ignore the big energy-draw items!

I bake my own bread and purchase organic flour in bulk, which I stored in this 30 year old freezer. Lately, I noticed that the freezer compressor was running all the time!

I replaced the 23 cubic foot freezer with a fairly new 6 cuft freezer (293 kwh/yr) + a energy_star_logo_100new 18 cuft refrigerator (335 kwh/yr). Both new appliances are Energy Star rated, so they are very energy efficient when compared to other models in their size class. Still, why would I replace a freezer that still operates?

I have calculated what I am recycling and I am shocked! The old freezer consumed 3,022 kwh/yr. I multiplied running (not start-up) amps times volts to obtain 345 watts. That is comparable to burning nearly six 60-watt light bulbs all the time!

This translates into a net power saving on new versus old, of 79%!!! That is an annual net savings on my electricity bill of $203/yr. My new frig will be paid back in 3 years, and sooner if power rates rise!

energuide_label_150When appliance shopping, look for the Energy Star certification and choose the model with at or near the lowest EnerGuide rating. Hopefully your municipality has a program that allows you to recycle the old appliance and keep it out of landfill. Refrigerant coolants need to be expertly drained and disposed to avoid leaking CFCs into the atmosphere. CFCs are a significant contributor to GHG(greenhouse gas). Each wise choice we make does make a difference for all of us.

What big ways have you found to save electricity and help the environment?

Comments (3)

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So true Dayle, after living "off grid" for 4 years I became intimately aware of what each appliance was using or even "doing". Auto defrost fridges are also a killer for power use when they do their "defrost" cycle. Basically they have a heater...

So true Dayle, after living "off grid" for 4 years I became intimately aware of what each appliance was using or even "doing". Auto defrost fridges are also a killer for power use when they do their "defrost" cycle. Basically they have a heater in the fridge to melt the ice. When you think about it, it is pretty stupid from a power use point of view. It's not that difficult to manually defrost a fridge! Washing machines were also suprising. We had one of the top rated eco friendly water miser front loading machines, only to find that its electricity consuption was off the scale compare to our old top loader. In my case I had abundant water fed from a stream so water conservation was not the highest priority, however when running off solar PV panels then energy use is a priority. Needless to say I switched back to the top loader.<br /><br />Also if you really want to save money on the lifetime of a freezer get one made by the likes of VestFrost or similar, these use a fraction of the power even "Eco" fridges use.<br /><br />Kind regards,<br />Brendan<br /><br />Brendan, thanks for the valuable input. You have pointed out an important difference -- that water may be abundant in one area, even though not in most areas of the world. We do make decisions based on availability and on price. That is why it is important to appropriately value our scarce resources so that people make decisions to select wiser alternatives or limit their use. Energy certification and rating systems have made decisions easier to select the best appliance. Knowledge is power for the consumer!<br /><br />All the best,<br />Dayle

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There is an updated website and name change to this program, which is now called Save On Energy: https://saveonenergy.ca/Consumer/Programs/Appliance-Retirement.aspx

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This program has evolved into the http://www.SaveOnEnergy.ca Fridge & Freezer Pickup, where participants can earn 100 Air Miles. Programs change and vary with your location. Check your local utility listing for possible programs!

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