BALTIMORE — In an effort to encourage customers to recycle old, inefficient appliances, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) announced the launch of its first-ever Ugly Refrigerator Contest on Friday, March 21.
Starting on Monday, March 24, BGE customers can post pictures of their inefficient, or “ugly,” refrigerators on the company’s Facebook page. Customers will then vote on the pictures to determine which refrigerator is the ugliest.
BGE will be providing prizes to the top three postings with the most votes. The first place winner will receive a new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator with a value of up to $1,200. The second place winner will receive a new ENERGY STAR certified Blu-ray home theatre system, with the third place winner receiving a Home Energy Audit through BGE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program.
To participate in the contest, you must be a current BGE customer and over the age of 18. Customers can post pictures from March 24 through April 6 and the voting period for customers’ favorite ugly refrigerator is until April 13. BGE will announce the winners on April 16.
The Ugly Refrigerator Contest supports the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program, which through its Appliance Recycling Program, helps customers remove their old, working, inefficient refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners from the electric grid. As a part of the program, customers receive a $50 reward when they recycle a refrigerator or freezer and get an additional $25 bonus, if they recycle a room air conditioning unit at the same time. Since its inception, the program has saved more than 47,300 megawatt-hours of electricity by removing these inefficient appliances from the electric grid. This equates to removing nearly 7,000 cars off the road or almost 4,500 homes’ electricity use for one year.
“The benefits of recycling old appliances are numerous,” said Ruth C. Kiselewich, director of demand side management programs for BGE. “By recycling an older refrigerator or freezer and room air conditioning unit and replacing them with new ENERGY STAR certified models, our customers increase their home’s energy efficiency, helping them save energy and money throughout the year. This program also helps keep old appliances out of landfills, where they can release harmful toxins and greenhouse gases into the environment. This is a great example of how EmPOWER Maryland is benefiting BGE customers across Maryland.”
A spare refrigerator or freezer in a basement or garage wastes up to 1,200 kWh of energy and as much as $100 in electric costs every year. By recycling old appliances, BGE customers save energy and money. In addition, through this program, more than 95 percent of each appliance is recycled and disposed of properly, preventing these materials from entering a landfill. Recycling also helps reduce the need for new raw materials, such as steel, aluminum, copper, glass and plastic. Appliance recycling leads to an enormous reduction in emissions of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases, as well as releases of PCBs, mercury and used oil into the environment.
BGE makes it easy for customers to recycle their old appliances. Customers are encouraged to contact BGE to schedule a pickup, and BGE will haul away the old appliances at no additional cost. Each household is limited to recycling two refrigerators or freezers through this program. Appliances must be in working (cooling) condition and measure 10 to 27 cubic feet, which is the standard size for most refrigerators and freezers. Room air conditioning units may also be recycled through this program, but only if picked up at the same time as an eligible refrigerator or freezer. Appointments are required and available for scheduling by visiting www.BGERecycleMyOldFridge.com or by calling 866-898-1901.