July 9, 2009

Media Contact: Vanessa McGrady, (626) 302-2255

ROSEMEAD, Calif., July 9, 2009 – This summer, Southern California Edison (SCE) wants its customers to become the ultimate authorities on running their refrigerators efficiently. A refrigerator can use about 19 percent of a household’s electricity. To that end, SCE is offering solutions to help manage energy usage and keep bills lower this summer.

That old, inefficient refrigerator in the garage keeping a six-pack of soda cold can cost an extra $330 a year. SCE will pick up the unit at no charge, recycle it in an environmentally responsible manner, and send the customer a $50 incentive in the mail. Customers can opt to donate the $50 to the Energy Assistance Fund, which helps needy families with their electricity bills.
In addition, when customers purchase a new ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator, they earn a $50 rebate. Customers who meet certain income guidelines may also qualify to receive a free energy efficient refrigerator and other appliances and services through the Energy Management Assistance program. (www.sce.com/ema).

“We’re always happy to partner with our customers to help them become more savvy energy consumers,” said Gene Rodrigues, SCE’s director of Energy Efficiency. “Every time we can recycle a refrigerator or help someone operate more efficiently in their home, it’s a win for the customer and for the environment.”

Over the past 15 years, SCE has recycled more than 750,000 refrigerators and freezers. In 2008 alone, SCE’s Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling Program resulted in the equivalent greenhouse gas reduction of removing 8,360 cars from the road and diverting more than 7,000 tons of waste from landfills.

Here are some general guidelines that will help every refrigerator run more efficiently, resulting in less energy consumed and lower electricity bills:

  • To reduce strain on the refrigerator’s or freezer’s motor, position the unit away from a heat source such as an oven, dishwasher, or direct sunlight. Allow air to circulate around the condenser coils, keep the coils clean, and leave a space around the unit.
  • Make sure the door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door on a piece of paper, so that it is partly inside the refrigerator or freezer. If you can pull the paper out easily, the door’s seal should be checked.
  • Keep the refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep the doors open only as long as necessary.
  • A full refrigerator runs more efficiently than an empty one. Keeping the fridge stocked with bottles of water will do the trick; empty freezers can be packed with bags of ice.
  • Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost build-up increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running. Do not allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.

Customers can learn more about the refrigerator recycling and rebate programs at www.sce.com/refrigerator or by calling (800) 736-4777. For more ways to save energy this summer, please see www.sce.com/tips

About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.


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