Fridges and freezers

The EU Energy Label for refrigerators and freezers

The European Union Energy Label was introduced to allow consumers to factor in energy performance when purchasing new domestic appliances. Initially the label only applied to a small number of product groups, but with the ongoing implementation of the EU Energy-related Products Directive and Energy Labelling Directive, you will see the label appear on more and more electrical and electronic goods. 

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Market overview by Energy Label class 

The most energy-efficient A+++ models currently make up only 0.5% of all the fridge models available on the UK market.  The largest number of models (1,291 or 56%) currently available are A+ rated. 

The picture for freezers is similar with 0.6% of available models being A+++ rated and the vast majority (365 or 53.5%) qualifying for an A+ label. 

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Comparing energy-use of old and new, highly energy-efficient appliances 

Replacing an appliance such as fridge-freezer can mean a significant financial outlay and takes careful consideration. Knowing exactly when to replace an appliance, especially one that is still working, can be difficult. 

You may find it useful to monitor the actual energy consumption of your fridge-freezer using a plug-in energy-usage meter. 

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How to get your appliance to perform most efficiently

Buying the most energy-efficient model will help you save energy and money in the long run. But it’s how you use your appliance that can really make a difference too. For example: 

  • Make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the right temperature – below 5°C for fridges and at -18°C for freezers. Use a fridge thermometer to check your fridge or freezer is at the correct temperature. 
  • Don't keep the fridge or freezer door open for longer than necessary and try to avoid opening it too frequently. This will prevent the inside of the fridge-freezer from warming up and causing increased energy consumption. 
  • Check what you have in the fridge and freezer before you go shopping. Wasted food is a big contributor towards carbon dioxide emissions and there is no point chilling food only for it to be thrown away! 

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Disposing of your old appliance 

Electrical appliances are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK and Europe, with the amount of e-waste estimated to be rising by at least 2.5% every year. 

Reusing or recycling WEEE saves thousands of tonnes of valuable materials being landfilled or otherwise disposed of. It also reduces environmental footprint associated with the extraction of raw materials and the manufacture of electrical and electronic goods.  

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