San Francisco Residents Receive Additional Incentive to Recycle Energy Guzzling Refrigerator

San Francisco Residents Receive Additional Incentive to Recycle Energy Guzzling Refrigerator

(July 21, 2004)

Supervisor Fiona Ma, with SF
Environment's Jim Chien and
Albert Chiu of PG&E, announces
special rebates for SF residents.

San Francisco PG&E Customer Eligible for $50 When Recycling Refrigerators or Freezers

San Francisco – Is your second refrigerator running? What sounds like an old telephone prank is actually an invitation to have your older, spare refrigerator or freezer picked up and recycled for free. Not only is the pickup free, but Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will also pay customers $35 to take it away. Customers living in San Francisco will receive an additional incentive of $15 as part of a joint partnership with the San Francisco Environment.

The additional funding comes from SFPEP (San Francisco Peak Energy Program) an energy efficiency program designed specifically for residents and business owners in the City and County of San Francisco. The goal of the SFPEP is to reduce peak energy demand in San Francisco and assist in the closure of Hunters Point Power Plant using a portfolio of energy efficiency programs.

Under PG&E's statewide refrigerator recycling, customers are encouraged to recycle eligible refrigerators and freezers, saving energy and money while also earning a $35 incentive payment from the utility. San Francisco residents are eligible for an extra $15 under the SFPEP partnership. An environmentally recognized Bay area company, JACO Environmental Inc., is operating the program.

This incentive is to encourage people who buy new refrigerators not to hang onto their old ones. These inefficient units usually end up in a garage where they become storage for a few cans of soda or some frozen dinners–a waste of energy and money.

To have your refrigerator or freezer picked up and recycled under the approved program, the appliances need to be at least 14 cubic feet in size and must have been manufactured before 1990. The program is only open to customers who receive their electricity from PG&E. To schedule a pickup, call 1-800-299-7573.

"This program is mostly targeted at those second refrigerators that customers have in the garage or basement that operate needlessly," said Terry Pang, Senior Program Manager at PG&E. "Research has shown that the majority of these spare refrigerators were built before the current energy efficiency standards were put in place, using up to five times the energy of newer models."

SFPEP hopes this added incentive will encourage San Francisco city and county residents to replace their older primary refrigerators with newer energy-efficient models. The average refrigerator or freezer manufactured before 1990 consumes about 1,500 kilowatt-hours annually, costing up to $200 a year to run. Since 2001, federal codes called for more energy efficient refrigerators/freezers, which only use about 450 kWh per year. This means homeowners can save up to $150 on their annual bills if they replace an old refrigerator with a newer model.

Both refrigerators and freezers are eligible for the program, with a limit of two appliances per household. All refrigerators and freezers must be empty and working at the time of pick-up. About 90 percent of each refrigerator or freezer will be recycled.

This program will also help relieve some of the pressure on the state's electricity supply. Because refrigerators account for almost 20 percent of the energy used by the average California household, removing spare refrigerators and replacing older units with Energy Star models will remove some of the strain off the electrical grid.

To expedite your request, please have your PG&E account number available when placing the call. The refrigerator/freezer recycling program is available to all PG&E customers through 2005 or until funds are depleted.

  • For more details or to schedule an appliance pick-up PG&E customers can call 1-800-299-7573.
  • San Francisco customers are eligible for the extra $15 incentive under the SFPEP through December 31, 2004 or until funds are depleted.
  • Under the SFPEP program, customers can receive $50 for recycling an eligible refrigerator or freezer that was manufactured before 1990 and is 14 cubic feet or greater.
  • For more information on the San Francisco Peak Energy Program, residential customers can contact the Smarter Energy Line at 1-800-933-9555 or

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Jim Chien SF Environment (415) 355-3738
Albert Chiu P&E (415) 973-1079
Gary Zavoral (916) 446-9900 or (916) 496-7326