Spare fridge cost big time

THE NSW government estimates there are about 18,000 Wollongong households with a second fridge or freezer that if switched off would save residents more than $4.7 million on power bills each year.

The Fridge Buyback program operates under the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme in partnership with Wollongong City Council. The scheme is now targeting old energy-guzzling upright freezers, as well as the big old fridges in people’s garages.

To date the program has helped about 37,500 NSW households save more than $9.9 million on their power bills every year.

Council’s Environment and Conservation Services manager Vanni De Luca said old fridges are one of the biggest energy users in the home, costing households an average of $265 a year to operate. He said old upright freezers use almost as much power as an old fridge.

A recent NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman’s report states that power prices are rising at almost four times the rate of inflation

“Getting rid of the old fridge or freezer in the garage is one of the easiest steps households can take to cut their power bills,” Mr De Luca said.

“This energy savings scheme is funded through the NSW government so there is no cost to the household.”

Second fridges or upright freezers must be in regular use, built before 1996 and 200 litres or greater in size.

A $35 rebate is paid for collection from homes with six steps or less. Collection is free, but no rebate is paid, where collection involves between seven to 20 steps.

See  or call 1800 708 401 to make a booking.

About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


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