Low-income households in the UK are being offered 25,000 subsidised domestic refrigerators under a scheme launched by the UK Energy Saving Trust today. Replacing old fridges with new, more efficient ones is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 95,000 tonnes over the projected 15-year lifetime of the new fridges. Electricity bills in participating households will be cut by an average of 450 (Ecu600) over the same period, according to the organisers. Mike Thornton from the Lothian and Edinburgh Environmental Partnership - which is managing the scheme - told ENDS Daily that "the big savings are not because the new fridges are super-efficient, but because the old electricity-guzzling ones are so incredibly inefficient". According to Mr Thornton, pilot projects in London and Scotland have been a "great success". Under the scheme, Turkish-made Beko fridges - which normally sell for 120 - will be available to any family in receipt of state benefits for 25. When delivering new units, the organisers will remove old fridges, from which a retailer has promised to extract and collect CFC refrigerant gases. The 2.5 million cost of the "Fridgesavers" scheme is being met by the UK's 14 regional electricity suppliers.
Energy Saving Trust, tel: + 44 171 592 1513
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