According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), for a price premium of $350, U.S. consumers can buy a refrigerator or freezer that will use 35% less energy over its lifetime (compared to a base model). But, the relationship between incremental cost increase and energy savings is not a linear one.

What does this mean?

For just $50, your refrigerator could cost 20% less to operate.

This cost/savings discussion is the main focus of the EIA's recently published analysis of the incremental cost of energy efficiency. According to their data, consumers might only need to spend $50 more on their new refrigerators or freezer to realize significant energy savings.

The EIA also presents analysis of the incremental cost of energy efficiency for other heating and cooling equipment, including many EnergySTAR-rated air conditioning and heating units.

Graphic courtesy of the U.S. Energy Information Administration