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Utilities offer $35 rebate on old refrigerators

Miguel Garcia and Osvaldo Hernandez wheel away a refrigerator
last week from a Modesto home.
Miguel Garcia and Osvaldo Hernandez wheel away a refrigerator last week from a Modesto home. Modesto Bee

Your old fridge has a price on its head.

Electric utilities have started offering $35 to customers to part with their old, power-hogging refrigerators and freezers.

The rebates are available to customers of the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts, as well as Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

All three have arranged for free pickup of the appliances by JACO Environmental Inc., based near Seattle.

On top of the rebate, customers can save money on energy bills.

"Older units can use up to three times as much energy as newer ones," MID spokeswoman Melissa Wil- liams said.

The rebate is available whether someone is replacing a kitchen refrigerator or getting rid of a second unit in a garage, she said.

JACO Environmental schedules the pickups and safely disposes of the freon and compressor oil in the appliances. The company also recycles the metal, glass and plastic components -- more than 90 percent of the original materials.

By paying the rebates, the utilities reduce their need for costly wholesale power and help keep pollutants out of the air.

The rebate rules:

The refrigerator or freezer must have a capacity of 10 to 30 cubic feet, which includes most residential models.

It must be in working condition, clean and empty.

Each customer is limited to two rebates a year.

About 20 MID customers have taken part in the first three weeks of the program, and 31 more have pickups scheduled this month, Williams said.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or 578-2385.

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