Energy-efficient fridges

Fridges

Energy-efficient fridges

By Ben Slater

Your fridge probably costs more to run than you think. Reduce your energy bills with the best energy-efficient fridges.

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Your fridge is using electricity 24 hours a day, so it's a good idea to buy an energy-efficient model if you want to keep running costs as low as possible. Use our energy calculator and recommendations below to pick out a fridge that won't drive up your energy bills.

Refrigeration appliances notch up a staggering £2bn in electricity bills each year in the UK because they're switched on around the clock.

And although all new models must have an energy label rating of at least A+, we've found that models with the same energy label can cost different amounts to run each year. Our rigorous expert testing calculates the true running costs of every fridge we review.

See our energy calculator and table below to find your perfect energy-efficient fridge.

To see the top-scoring models that excel at the main task of chilling, take a look at our Best Buy fridges.

Fridge energy cost calculator

Top energy-saving fridges

We give star ratings to all fridges based on their energy efficiency. But the best fridges are also able to chill cheaply and quickly, to help keep your food fresher for longer. The five fridges we've selected below are cheap to run, but also performed well in our tough performance tests, which could mean you waste less food and save money at the supermarket, too.

Which? members can log in to reveal our recommendations of the best energy-saving fridges in the table below. 

New to Which?. Sign up for a £1 Which? trial to unlock the table and gain instant access to all our reviews and expert buying advice. 

Best tall freestanding fridge

John Lewis JLLFW1816
Today's best price £529.00
Which? score 77%
Tested Jan 2016
Best Buy
Energy saver
Cooling power:
5 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
3 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

This cavernous Best Buy fridge contains more than 300 litres of usable space, which should be enough for even the largest families. It's exceptionally quick to chill, too, so your food should stay fresher for longer. You might assume that chilling such a large space so quickly would drive up your electricity bills, but this is actually an exceptionally efficient fridge for its size, so you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

Best tall built-in fridge

Bosch KIR41VS30G
Today's best price £514.80
Which? score 83%
Tested Apr 2016
Best Buy
Energy saver
Cooling power:
5 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
4 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

Built-in fridges tend to be more expensive than freestanding models - the average price of the tall built-in fridges we’ve reviewed is around £600, and we haven’t tested any that cost less than £300. That means this built-in Best Buy is cheaper than most to buy, and it’s even more economical when you consider lifetime costs, because it’s very energy efficient for its size. It performed well in our tough chilling tests and it’s very quiet as well, so you’ll definitely want to consider it if you’re looking for a tall, integrated fridge.

Best freestanding under-counter fridge

Liebherr TP1720
Today's best price £299.00
Which? score 68%
Tested Jul 2016
Cooling power:
4 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
3 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

You’ll struggle to find a more energy-efficient fridge than this one. Even though it will be working to chill your food all day every day, you’ll hardly notice the effect on your electricity bills. It just missed out on a Best Buy because the temperature can fluctuate when the outside temperature rises. However, if you’re looking for an economical small fridge, you should still consider this one as it did well in our crucial chilling speed test.

Best cheap tall freestanding fridge

Bush BTL55143W
Today's best price £179.99
Which? score 67%
Tested Aug 2016
Cooling power:
4 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
5 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

The lifetime costs of this tall freestanding fridge will be exceptionally low, because it’s both cheap to buy and cheap to run. It’s a little tricky to use and doesn’t chill quite as quickly as our top Best Buys, but it didn’t do poorly in any of our performance tests, meaning it’s a good all-round fridge. If price is your number one priority, then look no further.

Best cheap under-counter fridge

Frigidaire FRLF60W
Today's best price £239.99
Which? score 70%
Tested Jan 2016
Cooling power:
4 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
4 out of 5
Energy use:
4 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

We’ve tested cheaper small fridges than this one, but they will either cost you more to run, or else didn’t do as well in our tough tests. This under-counter fridge won’t cost the earth to run, and it chills quickly to help keep your food fresher for longer. At this price, we reckon that’s a winning combination.

Fridge energy-efficiency tips

  • Don’t leave the door open for longer than necessary or the fridge will be filled with warm air and have to work to cool down again.
  • Defrost frozen food in your fridge - it acts like an ice pack to help cool the fridge, meaning that your fridge uses less electricity.
  • Avoid putting warm food in your fridge - let it cool down first.
  • Clean the condenser coils at the back or underneath your fridge - thick dust can reduce their efficiency by up to 25%.

Best Buy fridges

When we test fridges, we measure how much energy they use to chill and to keep consistently cool. We then work out how much each model will add to your yearly energy bills and calculate whether it's pricey to power for the amount of food you can actually fit inside. 

The best fridges use energy sparingly, working out as ultra-cheap to run for their size.

Of course, it's essential that a fridge is good at its core task of chilling food, so we investigate how quickly each fridge can chill (speedy cooling helps keep your food fresher for longer) and whether it can keep evenly cool during both scorching summer and chilly winter months.

To see which models come out top - as well as bottom - in our tests, head to our fridge reviews.

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