A Blast from Our Past: Doubling of Electric Bills

November 22, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Sometimes reading historical documents is like visiting Bizarro World. Consider where our industry was in 1927, as reported by The Electric Refrigeration News in its one-year anniversary issue, Oct. 11, 1927.

“Push Sales and Give Service, Say Utility Men,” reported the fledgling predecessor of The NEWS. According to a small survey’s respondents, “it is the utility companies’ duty to handle the merchandising … of electric refrigerators in most communities.”

Electric refrigerators were the appliances that followed ice boxes in the early 20th century. They were heavily promoted by early utility companies to help them grow their loads. Compare these attitudes to today’s - now utilities work hard to keep the load lower, or at least not to have it be a heavily peaking load.

The 24 men surveyed generally agreed that while the sale of electric refrigerators did not pay the percentage of profit that they felt they should have been receiving, “yet the current load which these machines build up is highly desirable.”

They predicted that with this new appliance, a small home’s electric bill would roughly double, and in a commercial setting it could triple.

Most utility companies said they felt the service aspects - fixtures, hardware, and furniture - would be better handled by the dealer.

According to one dealer, “Apparently the manufacturers of electric refrigerators feel that the electric service company can afford to sell electric refrigerators at a loss because of the revenue features of the load.”

Another dealer said the power companies should accept the responsibility “for supplying the service needs of the customer.”

The NEWS is turning 85 next year - come celebrate with us! For more information, contact publisher John Conrad at

Publication date: 11/22/2010

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Mini Split Installation

Twin Cities contractor Aabott Ferraro helped retrofit an older St. Paul home.


NEWSMakers: Doug Dougherty

Doug Dougherty, president and CEO of the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) joins the program to discuss the latest happenings with GEO, including the drive to get included in state and federal definitions of renewable energy, plus the future of geothermal.  Posted on July 25.

More Podcasts


NEWS 07-28-14 cover

2014 July 28

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Some in the industry are calling for the EPA to halt production of R-22 as of 2015. What do you think?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con