The energy label carries a lot of useful information and has just been revised to new EU standards. The label shown here is the new version being introduced in 2011. AMDEA has published a handy guide to the new labels. Click here to download EU Energy Label Guide March 2012.
Almost all models are now at least ‘A’ rated. This does not mean that they are all the same. Models can be A+, A++ rated or even A+++ — each of which means quite a big leap in energy efficiency. The greener the arrow for the fridge or freezer, the lower its energy consumption.
In 2011, the current average unit price for electricity was about 14.35p/kWh. So an A+ fridge/freezer with an energy consumption rating of 256Wh/year would cost 256 x 14.35p = £36.74 a year in electricity. Of course this number will vary according to where you put the appliance and how you use it — see energy saving tips.
The average freezer has a ‘life’ of about 17 years and a fridge about 13 years. So the fridge freezer that carries the label shown will cost an estimated £36.74 a year for 17 years or a total of about £625 in electricity costs. In fact this is likely to be much more, as electricity prices have been rising strongly and are likely to rise again in the future. So spending a bit more to buy the most efficient appliance you can afford today will save you a lot of money over time.
The label also carries the capacity of the unit in litres. Whilst this is a useful guide the layout of the shelves is also very important. There’s little point in having extra space if it is really hard to access.
The sound pressure or ‘noise’ in decibels is also highlighted. The higher the value the greater the ‘noise’. 40dBA is the level at which it may cause distraction in an otherwise quiet room — but decibels are calculated on a ‘log’ scale — so each increase of 3dB is actually a doubling of the noise output.
Other factors that will undoubtedly affect the energy efficiency of a fridge freezer are: the type of construction (built in or free standing), size, model and the availability of a frost free feature.
Energy consumption for an A+ fridge-freezer, ranges from 199-389kWh/year depending on all of the variables mentioned, with storage capacity, or size, top of the list.