July 17, 2006

New conservation program targets old, energy hog fridges

WINDSOR, ONT-The Ontario Ministry of Energy and the Conservation Bureau have launched a pilot Refrigerator Retirement program aimed at taking old, inefficient fridges out of services in residential homes. The program, being tested in Barrie, Kingston, Mississauga, St Catharines, Timmins and Windsor, offers free pick-up and recycling of old refrigerators, a $110 value. Refrigerators are one of the largest users of electricity in the home: older models can consume up to four times the electricity of newer, more energy-efficient units. Every 1,000 refrigerators taken out of service will save enough electricity to supply more than 130 homes. "That old second fridge could be costing as much as $220 per year in energy costs, not to mention its environmental impact in terms of electricity consumption," said Peter Love, Ontario's Chief Energy Conservation Officer. Refrigerators collected through the program will be diverted from landfill by being fully recycled; this includes removal and proper handling of CFC-based refrigerants and foam insulation; draining, decontamination and recycling of compressor oils; and recycling of plastic, glass and metals. To qualify, refrigerators must be at least five years old, ten cubic feet or larger in size, and in working condition at the time of pick-up. They must also be located at a single-family residence within the service area of a participating electricity distributor. To participate in the program, homeowners in Barrie, Kingston, St. Catharines and Timmins can call 1-866-901-7353. Homeowners in Mississauga and Windsor can call 1-877-279-4115. Requests can also be registered on-line at www.conservationbureau.on.ca. The program runs until September 15, 2006.

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