MINNEAPOLIS, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Xcel Energy customers with an old, extra refrigerator now have an even bigger incentive to recycle it. From now until September 30, Xcel Energy is offering a limited-time $50 rebate, up from the previous $35 rebate, to take advantage of the Refrigerator Recycling Program. Minnesota-based Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. administers the program and will pick up the old, energy guzzling refrigerators, typically located in a garage, basement or lake home, and recycle the materials in the appliance. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a 20-year-old refrigerator can consume two to four times more energy annually than a new model and can significantly increase customers' electricity bills. Older refrigerators put a strain on the electricity grid. Each unit costs over $100 a year in electricity bills, according to ENERGY STAR ®. "This program provides a convenient and environmentally safe solution for customers," says Christmas Ramirez, Xcel Energy program manager. "To add to the free pickup, recycling and $50 rebate, we're throwing in two free compact fluorescent light bulbs to provide additional energy savings." To date, over 8,000 Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota have participated in the program, which is part of Xcel Energy's Conservation Improvement Program. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit ResponsibleByNature.com/Fridge or call (800) 599-5795. Participation in this program is subject to important rules and eligibility requirements, which are detailed at ResponsibleByNature.com/Fridge. About Xcel EnergyXcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company that provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies in eight Western and Midwestern states. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at xcelenergy.com.