By Patrick Gallagher
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 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 recommendations 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 list of the best fridges.
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. Not a member yet? Join Which? to unlock the table and gain instant access to all our reviews and expert buying advice.
Best tall freestanding fridge
Best tall integrated fridge
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,
Best freestanding under-counter fridge
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 has no major faults, although its cooling speed is only average and not outstanding. But it's still a worthy Best Buy and if you’re looking for an economical small fridge, you should definitely consider this one.
Best cheap tall freestanding fridge
This well-priced fridge isn't just cheap to buy, it's cheap to run, too. It may even help you spend less at the supermarket thanks to the quick-to-cool fridge. The faster food chills, the less time heat-loving bacteria have to eat into the lifespan of your food, and the less money you're likely to waste on replacing food you've had to throw out. The only thing to bear in mind is that you'll need to fiddle with the thermostat and perhaps even buy a fridge thermometer, because the manufacturer's recommended thermostat setting can't be trusted.
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.