Getting rid of Dal’s energy‑guzzling fridges

Partnership between Dalhousie and Efficiency Nova Scotia

- November 22, 2011

Students Melissa MacDougall and Brendan Brady help lab instructor Paul Briggs (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) inspect one of the Tupper's fridges. (Bruce Bottomley photo)
Students Melissa MacDougall and Brendan Brady help lab instructor Paul Briggs (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) inspect one of the Tupper's fridges. (Bruce Bottomley photo)

Old fridges burn through electricity. And Dalhousie has a lot of old fridges.

When Rochelle Owen, Dalhousie’s director of sustainability, and her team conducted an energy survey of Dalhousie lab spaces, they found more than 400 fridges that were over 10 years old – not to mention 250 freezers that were equally as ancient.

And that’s not even counting kitchen fridges in lounges and offices across campus.

“A fridge can be a large power-using appliance in a space, particularly if it’s old,” says Ms. Owen. “Together, these devices represent an energy drain.”

Thankfully, there’s some good news: Dalhousie is working with Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Appliance Replacement Program. This means that faculties, departments and offices can apply to have any working fridges that are 10 years old or more replaced with a brand new, Energy Star-rated model – at no charge to the individual unit.

The Appliance Replacement Program covers the removal and recycling costs for the old fridges—with a commitment to recycle 95-98 per cent of the materials—and even delivers the new fridges on-site, straight from partner Gallery 1 Furniture Centre. The costs for the replacement are covered by discounts and rebates through Efficiency Nova Scotia as well as through energy savings from Dalhousie’s sustainability programs.

Offices must apply by Friday, Nov. 25 at 3 p.m.

“The idea is to make the impact on individual units as minimal as possible, so that we can all focus on saving energy,” says Ms. Owen. “They apply to have the fridge switched out, pick which model they want delivered, and our office—with Efficiency Nova Scotia’s help—does the rest.”

The timeline is short, though: units who are interested in having their fridges replaced need to apply by this Friday, November 25 by 3 p.m. to take part in the program. You can email with information on the fridge to be removed (name of fridge, quantities, location and contact person) as well as the new model requested. The choices can be viewed on the Office of Sustainability website.

The new fridges will be delivered sometime between December 12 and 21. Participants will be notified of their delivery date by December 7.

Program update: Efficiency NS  has agreed to offer mini-fridge and upright freezer models as part of the upgrade program. Please see the Office of Sustainability website for these details and other models. If these program models in this particular opportunity do not meet your needs, you can still email so, in the future, these can be considered.


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