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Home & garden.

5 October 2021

Energy-efficient fridges

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

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.

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 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

  • 91%

    This excellent fridge had a near perfect run through our tough tests and is easily one of the best fridges we've ever seen. It's quick to chill, has brilliant temperature stability and is highly efficient for its size.

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Best tall integrated fridge

  • 75%

    The first integrated fridge to earn our Eco Buy recommendation, this model is highly efficient for its size. It also chills food quickly and excels at maintaining a stable temperature in cold rooms.

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Best freestanding under-counter fridge

  • 73%

    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.

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Best cheap tall freestanding fridge

  • 74%

    Not only does this well-priced fridge chill fresh items quickly, but it's also extremely energy efficient for its size, meaning it's cheap to run. Its temperature stability in cold rooms is fantastic too. But one thing to bear in mind is that it's not among the best at maintaining a stable temperature in warm rooms.

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Fridge energy label changes

From 1 March 2021 a new energy label comes 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 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%.

Is your fridge dirty or smelly? Read our guide on how to deep-clean your fridge.

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.