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Program helps Hawaiians get energy-efficient refrigerators

September 5, 2017 - 10:18am

WAILUKU, Maui — Hawaii Energy has launched the latest phase of a program to replace families’ older, energy-eating refrigerators with new, energy-efficient models.

Dozens of Molokai families began dropping off their aging refrigerators at Duke Maliu Regional Park and received new General Electric units that will help lower their electric bills.

A total of 177 Energy Star-certified refrigerators will be delivered during the trade-in opportunity, The Maui News reported.

Hawaii Energy program manager Burk Gingerich said a refrigerator can cost families on Molokai $350 a year in excess utility costs.

“We pay the highest cost per kilowatt hour in the islands,” said Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust’ainable Molokai, the nonprofit group implementing the program. “So, it’s really important for people to always remember to conserve energy and be energy efficient.”

The program began on Molokai in 2011, when 156 families traded in their old refrigerators. The program has replaced more than 600 refrigerators since then for families.

Participants are required to sign up in advance, and those who qualify are eligible to purchase a new refrigerator for $250. The price includes a rebate from Hawaii Energy.

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