Smith College allows students to have small refrigerators. They must be ENERGY STAR labeled and no larger than 3.5 cubic feet. Some students buy portable refrigerators and keep them here all four years, storing them at a commercial storage company. Portable refrigerators can also be rented through the following website. Smith encourages students to use the communal refrigerator in their house instead of bringing a small refrigerator. Personal refrigerators use a very large amount of energy for their size.
Because they run 24/7, a micro-fridge is often the number one user of electricity in a room. Each refrigerator can use upwards of 400 kWh a year and will generate over 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
Before renting or purchasing a refrigerator, please consider that all houses have a shared refrigerator in a common area. Also consider what you will do with the unit at the end of the year. Sharing a refrigerator is one of the best ways to save energy.