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Home & garden.

14 October 2021

Energy-efficient fridge freezers

Find out which energy-efficient fridge freezers will have the least impact on your electricity bills, saving you money in the long run.
Lisa Galliers
Woman looking in fridge.

A fridge freezer is probably one of the few appliances in your home that uses electricity 24 hours a day, so it makes sense to buy one that's as efficient as possible. Use our energy calculator and recommendations below to buy a fridge freezer that won't rack up your energy bills.

Although fridge freezer energy labels give an indication of which ones are the cheapest to run, our in-depth testing has found that even models that have the same energy label can cost different amounts over the course of a year.

When we test fridge freezers, we work out exactly how much power every model uses, as well as how much it is likely to add to your annual bills.

But cheap chilling and frugal freezing are only worth having if the fridge freezer can cool quickly and maintain a stable temperature. Otherwise, you may find that you're while you're saving money on energy, you're spending more at the supermarket, because a poor fridge freezer could reduce the lifespan of your food.

Check out our list of the best fridge freezers to help keep your food fresher for longer.

Top energy-saving fridge freezers

We reveal our pick of the best energy-saving fridge freezers we've tested in the table below. Not only are these models very economical, but they were also among the top performers in our tough chilling and freezing tests, so you can be confident that you're getting the best of both price and performance. 

Which? members can log in to see our recommendations. If you're not a member, join Which? to unlock the table and gain instant access to all our product reviews.

Table updated: September 2021.

Best fridge freezer

  • 90%

    This outstanding fridge freezer didn't do badly in any of our tests and made short work of most of them. Heat-loving bacteria don’t stand a chance in this exceptionally powerful fridge and for its size, this is one of the most energy efficient fridge freezers we’ve seen. You can rely on the freezer to rapidly freeze your food, preserving it in prime condition. It's an obvious Best Buy.

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Best built-in fridge freezer

  • 75%

    Integrated fridge freezers tend to cost more than freestanding models, but that doesn’t meant they have to cost more to run. It chills rapidly, has excellent temperature stability and a reliable thermostat. It's very quiet, easy to use and has a flame-retardant backing. In almost every respect this is an excellent fridge freezer. It's let down by a sluggish freezer, but not enough to stop it being a Best Buy.

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Best American fridge freezer

  • 78%

    The average price of the American fridge freezers we've tested is £1,000, with the most expensive costing more than £2,000. This excellent model is better than almost all of them and costs a fraction of the price. You should be able to fit 18 supermarket carrier bags of food in the spacious fridge freezer and you can count on this fridge to rapidly chill all of it, helping to maximise the freshness of your food.

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Best spacious freestanding fridge freezer

  • 77%

    It doesn’t matter where you put your food in this excellent fridge freezer, it will keep it at the correct temperature, and will do this without causing a spike in your energy bills, as it’s one of the most efficient models on test. At over 2m tall, and with 288 litres of usable space inside, there's plenty of room for all your food. Incredible accuracy, stability and efficiency also help to make this fridge freezer a Best Buy.

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Fridge freezer energy label changes

From 1 March 2021 a new energy label come into force, which replaces the confusing A+, A++ and A+++ ratings and resets the scale back to A to G. This is designed to reinvigorate the sustainability race for manufacturers by completely emptying the top A-rating to leave room for improvement. At first it will affect washing machines, washer-dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, lighting and TVs, with other appliances including tumble dryers and ovens remaining the same for now. 
New energy label

The new label for refrigeration (above) states the capacity of chilled and/or frozen compartments in litres and there is also a new measure for noise emissions.

The new ratings will go from A to G and is a clearer reflection of how efficient your appliance is by modern standards. Each label features a QR-code for more product information which links to the product on the manufacturer’s website. Energy consumption is presented either as kWh per year, kWh per 1,000 hours or kWh per 100 cycles, depending on the product group. This is a change from the old label, which was often based on an estimated usage over a year.

Fridge freezer efficiency tips

  • Don’t leave the door open for longer than necessary or the fridge freezer will be filled with warm air and have to work to cool down again.
  • Avoid putting warm food in your freezer – let it cool down first.
  • Keep your fridge freezer at least three quarters full – don’t overfill, though, or you’ll stop air from circulating around the compartments, and the appliance will use more energy to keep cold.

Best Buy fridge freezers

When we test fridge freezers, we measure how much energy they use to keep cool, as well as the amount they use up when chilling and freezing fresh items, and we calculate how much they're likely to add to your yearly electricity bills - so you can factor in that cost when you're buying one. 

Of course, a great fridge freezer must be able to chill and freeze fast, and stay evenly cool around the clock, even when the temperature in your kitchen changes. To see which models make the grade as the best – and the worst – on the market, head to our fridge freezer reviews.

Eco Buy fridge freezers

Eco Buy Logo

If you want to make the most sustainable choice when next buying a fridge freezer, an Eco Buy is for you. 

Eco Buy fridge freezers will have a lower impact on the environment over their lifetimes than other fridge freezers. 

We calculate this in two ways: how reliable and therefore long-lasting it's likely to be, so you don't have to repair or replace it as often, and how energy efficient it is. 

To become an Eco Buy, a fridge freezer must have: 

  • a total test score of at least 70% 
  • five stars for energy efficiency 
  • four stars and above for chilling and freezing power 
  • come from a brand that gets a good longevity rating in our annual consumer surveys. 

Only between 5% and 10% of fridge freezers are sustainable enough to be Eco Buys. To find out which qualify, head to our fridge freezer reviews and use the Eco Buy filter.

Read our advice on how to dispose of or recycle a fridge freezer.