cost to run fridge uk

How much does it cost to run a fridge UK?

When considering the cost of running a refrigerator, it’s essential to understand that this appliance is one of the few in your home that operates continuously.

If you’ve ever been curious about the impact of your refrigerator on your wallet and the environment, this refrigerator running cost calculator can help you understand and manage your energy usage better.


(Estimated Yearly Cost - Standing Charge Not Included)

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How much electricity does a fridge use?

Refrigerators can range from anywhere between 250 – 1500 kWh per annum. There should be a label somewhere on the fridge, usually on the back, check this number and enter it into the calculator above.

Calculating your fridge’s electricity usage

To calculate your fridge’s energy usage and the cost to run it, follow these steps:

  • Check the energy-use label or manual for your fridge’s annual energy consumption in kWh (kilowatt-hours).
  • Multiply this consumption by the cost per kWh, which is subject to the energy price cap or energy price guarantee in your area.

For example, if your fridge uses 500 kWh annually and the electricity cost is 29p kWh, the calculation would be as follows:

500 kWh × £0.29 = £145 per year, standing charge not included.

How much does it cost to run an under counter fridge?

mini fridge running cost

An under-counter refrigerator, also known as a mini-fridge, is a smaller alternative often used in small flats. Like a full-sized fridge, the cost to run an under-counter refrigerator depends on its energy consumption.

Most compact refrigerators will consume somewhere between 50 to 150 kWh per year. This is a wide range, so it’s important to check the energy label when purchasing. As with larger fridges, the factors listed earlier can influence the actual energy usage.

With an average 29p kWh electricity price, you could expect to pay between £14.50 to £43.50 annually to run your under-counter refrigerator.

Understanding your refrigerator’s electricity consumption

The cost of running a refrigerator depends heavily on its energy consumption, which in turn varies with the type, make, and model.

Typically, refrigerators have an energy label that covers their efficiency rating and gives an estimated annual energy consumption figure in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

To calculate the annual cost of running your fridge, you would multiply the annual kWh figure by your electricity rate. In the UK, the average unit cost of electricity is around £0.29 per kWh. But many factors can affect this figure, such as:

  • The fridge’s age and condition
  • How full or empty it is
  • The settings and how often it’s opened
  • Ambient room temperature
  • The refrigerator’s position (e.g., does it receive direct sunlight or is it near other sources of heat?)

Minimising fridge energy consumption

To minimise the energy consumption of your refrigerator, it is vital to optimise how you use it and ensure it is maintained regularly for peak performance.

refrigerator cost calculator

Optimising fridge usage

  • Set the correct temperature: Keep your fridge’s internal temperature between 3°C and 5°C and your freezer at -18°C. Use a thermometer to accurately gauge these levels.
  • Limit door openings: Each time you open the fridge door, warm air enters, making the appliance work harder. Open it only when necessary and close it promptly.
  • Store food properly: Allow hot food to cool down before placing it in the fridge, and cover liquids to minimise moisture, which can make the fridge work harder.
  • Defrost regularly: If your fridge is not a frost-free model, ensure you defrost it regularly to prevent ice build-up that can impair energy efficiency.

Maintaining your refrigerator for efficiency

  • Clean the condenser coils: Dust and grime on the coils can impair their efficiency. Unplug the appliance, and gently clean the coils with a brush and vacuum every six months.
  • Check the door seal: Ensure the door seals are airtight. Clean them with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water, and replace them if they are worn out.
  • Provide proper ventilation: Keep some space between the wall and the fridge to allow for good air circulation across the condenser coils.
  • Upgrade to an energy-efficient model: If your current fridge is old, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient model that has a high-energy efficiency rating.

Case study: How much could you save with an energy-efficient fridge?

To understand the potential savings that can be achieved by switching to an energy-efficient fridge, let’s look at a real-life example.

John and Sarah bought a new refrigerator with an A+ energy rating, which is much more efficient than their old model. Their previous fridge consumed 1,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, while the new one only consumes 500 kWh per year.

This means that they are saving 1,000 kWh of energy every year, which translates to a savings of £290 on their electricity bill at £0.29 per kWh. Over the lifetime of the fridge, which is estimated to be around 10 years, they will save a total of £2,900.