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 recommendations to buy a fridge freezer that won't rack up your energy bills.
Here we reveal our pick of the best energy-saving fridge freezers we've tested - including our top freestanding, built-in and American models.
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.
From 1 March 2021 a new energy label come into force, which replaced the confusing A+, A++ and A+++ ratings and reset the scale back to A to G. The change was intended to reinvigorate the sustainability race for manufacturers by completely emptying the top A-rating to leave room for improvement, although LG and Samsung have already produced models rated A on the new system. The new labelling system has been applied to washing machines, washer-dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, lighting and TVs, with other appliances including tumble dryers and ovens remaining the same for now.
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 offer 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.
Annual running costs
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 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.
You can see the annual running costs of every fridge freezer we've reviewed in our review Tech Specs or alternatively, search our running costs tool for your model.
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.
To see which models make the grade as the best – and the worst – on the market, head to our fridge freezer reviews.
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.
Eco Buy fridge freezers
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.