How A New Fridge Can Save The Planet

Ask Kate Dear Kate,
My fridge is old, but works fine. It took some energy to make, and it seems to me that you’re asking us to throw that away. Our family wants to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Shouldn’t we keep using our current fridge and repair it as needed?


                                          Keeping My Fridge

Dear Keeping,
Great question! To save the planet, buy a new fridge. Here’s my logic:

The lifetime energy use for an appliance is the energy used to get the raw materials, manufacture, and transport the product – Taken together, these are called “embodied energy” – plus the energy to operate it over its lifetime (this is the “use energy”).

A recent study found that over the lifetime of a fridge, the embodied energy accounted for less than 10% of the total energy use. More than 90% of a refrigerator’s lifetime energy use is from cooling food.

So, a new fridge can save you (and the planet) far more than the energy used to manufacture it.


Do you have a question for Kate? Email her at And yes, there is a real Kate. She has helped hundreds of consumers save energy the easy way – through habits and low cost changes. Everyone saves after Kate’s home visit, even the greenest of homes. She’s that good!


WattzOn Labs is always innovating ways to engage people to save water and energy. It showcases the WattzOn products under the WattzOn Labs private-label. We don’t market these products, but use this small-scale direct-to-consumer experience to constantly evolve and learn. Then we apply the findings to the rich, private-label products used by all our customers at WattzOn.