BUND, also called Friends of the Earth Germany, and the Green Party want consumers to be rewarded for turning in their old models when they buy refrigerators and other appliances with the greenest energy efficiency rating, or "A+++," the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel reported on Monday.
The so-called "scrapping bonus" would include disposal fees, BUND spokesman Robert Pörschmann said.
The older models need to be turned in for disposal, and not simply used for keeping drinks cold in the basement, Bärbel Höhn, Green acting parliamentary leader, told the paper.
Across the aisle, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) criticized the proposal. "I think it makes no financial sense to dispose of an appliance that is still functioning," says Mechthild Heil, who is in charge of consumer protection issues for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.
The proposal would also apply to appliances such as washing machines, washer-dryer combinations, televisions, and energy-saving lamps. The models with the top energy efficiency levels often retail for significantly more than the less efficient models, though proponents argue that they more than make up for the costs by using less energy.
Hesse state premier Volker Bouffier (CDU) went one step further. He told Bild newspaper, "We want a secure supply of energy, and should neither stifle Germany's industry, nor leave people with bills that they cannot pay. That's why we need to stop providing billions in energy subsidies that force the price of electricity higher."