While you probably only notice your fridge when it stops working or the freezer ices over, there’s a good chance that it is costing you considerably more than it should be. Looking at medium-sized fridges on the market (18 to 24in cubic ft of volume), the least efficient model can cost you over twice as much in electricity as the most efficient model. Approximately 10 million fridges will have been bought in 2012, with a potential to save 2.44 billion kWh in electricity annually by choosing the most efficient model. Over five years, this would lead to savings of $4.3 billion and 36.6 billion kWh, which is equivalent to removing 3.26 million average households from the grid.
What’s The Best Style Of Fridge?
A surprising find is that the style of fridge that you own (top or bottom freezer, side by side, or french door) has the biggest impact on how energy efficient it is. The key driver behind energy consumption is related to a fridge’s total volume, and more specifically, the volume of its freezer compartment. The freezer consumes considerably more electricity per cubic inch of volume. On average, top freezer models have a smaller freezer compartment than other styles and therefore are considerably more energy efficient. This suggests that not only should you make sure to buy the right size of fridge, but more importantly, one with an appropriately sized freezer compartment.
Does Age Matter?
Another important consideration is that fridges become increasingly less efficient as they age and the cooling system degrades. 5-year-old fridges consume 10% more energy, 10-year-old fridges consume 20% more energy, and fridges 15 years old or more consume at least 30% more energy. Imagine if you have not replaced your kitchen fridge in over a decade and you also have a spare fridge in the basement. You may be spending an additional $1000 in unnecessary electricity costs over the lifetime of each fridge.
Score My Fridge
While we realize that replacing the fridge is not at the top of your holiday shopping list, it is one of the few purchases that will actually save you money in the long run. To help you determine when is the right time to upgrade your fridge, we have released a “Score my Fridge” app (enervee.com/myfridge) that scores the energy efficiency of over 80,000 fridges dating all the way back to the 1980s. By plugging in the model number of a fridge, it is scored and compared versus all fridges currently on the market.
Enervee’s goal is to make you aware of the energy efficiency of all of your home appliances and electronics at the moment it really counts — when you are comparing products to make a purchase. For now, we have released our Enervee Score for TVs and Fridges, but we are working hard to soon cover the other major home appliances and electronics.
About the Author: Alex Katzman is head of business development at Enervee and has a decade of experience with strategic partnerships and enterprise software implementation in the smart grid and mobile/web sectors. He is well versed in global business, having spent four years of his career working abroad in the UK, Argentina, and South Korea. Alex holds an MBA from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. When he’s not talking to potential partners about Enervee, Alex enjoys cooking Italian cuisine, glassblowing, and rock climbing.
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.