To qualify for the recycling program the old refrigerator must be operational and non-Energy Star rated with a minimum capacity of 12 cubic feet.
There are three elements of the rebate/recycle program.
· Customers qualifying for IID's residential energy assistance program can receive a new Energy Star rated refrigerator at no cost when they turn in their old operational unit to be recycled. Customers can call (800) 354-1898 to learn if they qualify for that service.
· Customers who purchase a new Energy Star rated refrigerator can receive a 20-percent rebate — up to $200 — of the purchase price of the new unit when they turn in an old operational refrigerator for recycling. Customers can call (800) 922-3744 to arrange for recycling and a rebate application.
· Customers who want to get rid of an old operational refrigerator can receive $40 by having it recycled. Call (800) 922-3744 to make arrangements.
The district has contracted with Appliance Recycling Center of America to administer the recycling program.
An Energy Star appliance is one that exceeds government energy efficiency standards by at least 10 percent. Refrigerators that are 10 years old use about as much energy as two Energy Star refrigerators.
The recycling/rebate program is one of several efforts IID has in place to provide cost-saving help to customers.
Earlier this year the district started an air conditioner rebate program in which customers can receive a rebate off the cost of having their air conditioners serviced. District officials have said having an air conditioner serviced can lead to savings on energy bills, particularly in the summer.
The rebate services are part of IID's public benefits program, mandated by the state in 1999.
The program is supported through a 2.85 percent public benefits charge included on power bills. The program was initially set to last two years but recent state legislation will extend the public benefits program for 10 years.
The charge raises millions annually for public benefits efforts. Other IID public benefits programs include a weatherization service and bill reduction for customers who qualify.
The IID Board of Directors has said it is important that people realize the district has such programs, particularly because power bills are expected to be higher this summer.
District officials have said the higher bills will result from the district having to spend nearly three times more on natural gas than it spent last year.
Natural gas is used to fuel the district's power plants.
While those plants are not in use now thanks to energy contracts IID has with other utilities, IID will have to turn on its power plants this summer.
Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.