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Energy Efficient

Some retail stores like FedCo for example have a comparison chart of several hundred models that exceed the 92 average refrigerator energy needs by 20% (called energy efficient). The report was published by Edison Company. Last year Edison and some other power companies offered a $50 rebate to their customers if they purchased any of the greater than 20% energy efficiency new refrigerator. The program is expected to run again this year starting approximately 1 may 99. The following is a sample of a few entries to give an idea of what's available as of 1998.

ModelCu FtkW/YearEfficiency
Magic Chef (Maytag)

Note that according to Edison there are other refrigerators that get about the same efficiently as SunFrost. These are a factor of 2-3 times cheaper in price. However, they do not run on DC. Because the power companies have been offering rebates to get people to buy the more efficient units, refrigerators have been improving in efficiency. In 1992 the average 20 Cu Ft refrigerator in use consumed 1,132 kWh/year or 129 watts for each hr of the day on an average. The average 20 cu ft refrigerator sold during 1992 consumed 792 kWh/year or 90 watts for each hr of the day. Last year refrigerators were being made that are reported to be up to 41% more efficient or about 54 watts for each hr of the day on an average for a hypothetical 20 Cu Ft unit.

Some unexplained inconstancies: As per SunFrosts (19 cu ft uses 22 kWh/month) an equivalent 20 Cu ft. should use about 32 watts each hour on an average. As per Edison's chart a 20 Cu ft SunFrost should use 557 kWh/year or 64 watts each hour on an average. Also, as per Edison's chart 40.7% less energy than 90 watts is 54 watts. So depending on who we believe SunFrost could be running the same or up to twice as efficient as the current most efficient off the shelf common refrigerators. My own measurements at a room temperature of about 70 degrees, using a power meter over several weeks have resulted in the wattage of a 10-15 year old Montgomery Ward Signature Side by Side Frostless 20 Cu ft to be 3.576 kWh/day or 149 watts/hr average or 1305 kWh/year. A new energy efficient Amana (freezer in the bottom) model BG20T2W was measured to use 1.108 kWh/day or 46.2 watts/hr average or 404.5 kWh/year. This is 3.23 times less power used for the new energy efficient unit as compared to the older unit.

Assuming a SunFrost uses 32 watts/hr on the average and the Amana uses 46 watts/hr, this results in 14 extra watts/hr or 1.43 times more energy usage for the Amana. Another way to look at it is the SunFrost uses 30% less energy for the same Cu Ft. The Amana is about 3.8 times less price with much easier local availability. The point is other current energy efficient refrigerators can be expected to be comparable or possibly better. There are new refrigerators that are not energy efficient being sold. So don't be fooled. Check the numbers.

Summary: When shopping for a refrigerator, things to consider:

Offered by Mike.