I plan to replace my refrigerator when the new (realistic) Energy Star guidelines are available. How long do I have to wait?
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The guidelines have just improved!
This summer, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) signed an agreement to significantly improve the efficiency of refrigerators and other appliances by 2014. Here is the full text of the agreement. We can expect that manufacturers will come out with more energy efficient appliances well before the deadline.
There are already a number of manufacturers that are beating the minimum standards by over 30 percent. You can search for them here. Take a look at both "KWH/year" and "%Less Energy" columns. The "%Less Energy" column is derived from the minimum standard for the class of refrigerator while the "KWH/year" will give you the actual expected energy use.
Note that a single-door refrigerator is the most energy efficient, followed by a freezer-top; ice-makers are energy hogs; and get the smallest refrigerator you need. The Energy Star site also provides good advice as to how to select, install, and use your refrigerator.
For more information: