Puget Sound Energy offers customers free energy-efficient refrigerators

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

BELLEVUE, Wash. —

Puget Sound Energy is trying to get rid of refrigerators that are frozen in time.

The utility is offering to haul away inefficient fridges and install brand new Frigidaire fridge-freezer combos for free. The free fridges are very basic with no ice machine or in-door water dispenser.

More importantly, however, they are Energy Star efficient, which could save a customer up to $200 a year on their energy bill.

So far the company has made 650 swaps this year but plans to do upwards of 6,000. The new fridge installations are costing PSE about $535 each and are paid for by a conservation fund.

PSE efficiency expert Dennis Rominger said the program is actually a money-saver for the company and the people they serve in the long run.

"We're saving our customers, our rate payers who fund these programs, money for less power plants we have to build, less transmission lines, substations," Rominger said. "So collectively we're all working together to save ourselves energy."

To qualify, PSE customers have to have a fridge built in or before 1992, when energy standards vastly improved, and have to be using it as their main kitchen refrigerator.