Time for a New Second Fridge?

Nearly one-third of U.S. homes have a second fridge. Frequently, the second fridge is a unit that was “retired” to the garage when a new fridge was installed in the kitchen.

Because new models use less than half the energy of old fridges, it may save you money to replace your second refrigerator today.

Let’s do some fridge math:

Energy Savings. Assuming the old fridge is 15 or more years old, it is using about 800 kWh per year. A new fridge uses 400 kWh per year. At the national average for electricity costs (15 cents per kWh) a new fridge will have $60 per year in energy savings.

The Cost of New Fridge. The second fridge is in the garage, right? So get a plain white, top-freezer unit to minimize purchase costs. They usually run about $600 (white is the cheapest color).

Rebates. Often your local utility will pay you $50 to $75 to use an authorized service to haul away your old fridge. They want you to save energy, and they want to dispose of the toxic refrigerant properly. Check the rebate listings closely, there may be additional energy-saving incentives.

Sale prices. During key sales periods, you can save another $50 – $75 through retailer discounts. (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Black Friday, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July.)

Putting it all together:

$600 Purchase price

-$50 Retailer Discount

-$50 Rebate


$500 Net Fridge Cost

At $60 per year, the energy savings will pay for the cost of the fridge in just over eight years. ($500/$60).

The bottom line: If you have any trouble with the second fridge, replace. Don’t repair. Savings can be higher than those shown here if your fridge is more than 15 years old or if you live in an area with high electricity rates.


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.