Electricity Running Cost of Fridges Freezer

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[Update 8th September 2022]

I have updated some of the figures again to represent what is expected to be the new-new October price cap which is a price cap on the price cap which will be government-backed through a £100bn of loans. I fully expect the government will find some way to screw us sooner or later with this one.

Anyway, the price cap was supposed to go up to £3,549, which was an increase of 80%. The government will now limit this to £2500, which is an increase of just 26%. So, we are still in for an absolutely miserable time, but 29% less miserable than the original price cap.

[Update 30th of August 2022] I have updated this post to reflect the new price cap that will be introduced in October. Back in May, it was expected to increase 40%, but the actual increase is 80%, and this is going to make life very difficult for a lot of people.

October Energy Price Cap

The price cap is confusing and vague, with it being stated as the average annual cost for dual fuel customers. It is annoying, but the argument is that it is up to the supplier to set the rates how they want, it can be split between the standing charge and cost per kWh.

Ofgem has announced the energy price cap will increase to £3,549 per year for dual fuel for an average household from 1 October 2022. Up from £1,971.

Ofgem also published some example prices, which make it a little easier to understand.

Ofgem ExampleLast price cap period(1 April – 30 September 2022)Current price cap period(1 October – 31 December 2022)
Electricity£0.28 per kWh
Daily standing charge: £0.45
£0.52 per kWh
Daily standing charge: £0.46
Gas£0.07 per kWh
Daily standing charge: £0.27
£0.15 per kWh
Daily standing charge: £0.28

In the  Ofgem example, the standing charge for electricity only increases by 1p, which represents a 2.2% increase. The kWh price for electricity jumps up 85.7%; then gas prices increase 114%!

Government Supported Price Cap

I have no idea what the exact cost per kWh will be, so I will just increase the above example of £0.28 per kWh by 26% to £0.35 per kWh

Original Post

I am not saying I have anxiety about the cost of living and massive increases in the price of electricity, but here is another post about how much it costs to run appliances. It won’t be the last.

With the price cap expected to rise by another 40% in October (sadly not true, it is 80% now), we are all in for a bad time, regardless of how well-off you are.

There have been lots of reports of phantom electricity usage, and for people that are really struggling to pay the bills, this is worth considering looking into.

From what I can gather, phantom usage will pale into insignificance compared to the ridiculous standing charges we incur, which feels like a criminal way to extort as much money as possible from people regardless of your energy usage.

Many people suggest that fridges and freezers are one of the big appliances that use electricity, but this claim feels largely overblown, in my opinion.

They are kind of essential, so it is not like you can switch them off. Very old appliances may not be very efficient, and it can be difficult to weigh up the cost of buying a new efficient appliance and the energy savings you will get.

In my case, the numbers are not great but not bad either. I tested two of our appliances:

LG GSL760PZXV American Style Fridge Freezer

This is two years old and has an energy rating of F (based on the new standards), as well as a freezer, it has a plumbed-in water and ice compartment.

The official energy usage is 431 kWh/year. Based on the current 28p variable tariff, this would work out as £120 per year to run. In October, this would have jumped up to £224, but under the new Government-backed price cap, it would be £151.

However, using the TP-Link Tapo P110 energy monitoring plug, our usage was much less.

There are only two of us in our house, and this is likely what will reduce our usage.

Leaving both the fridge and freezer doors open until the appliance started beeping at me, I saw the energy draw increase to around 85w.

Most of the time, when I checked it, it was around 30-50w.

During the testing period, the usage was typically well under 1kwh and more like 0.7kwh.

Assuming I achieve 0.7kwh consistently throughout the year, then that works out as 255 kWh/year or about £71.54, and in October, this would have been £132.60 but now should be closer to £90.

Under Counter Fridge

We also have an old under-counter fridge, which has been switched off for months but for the sake of testing, I powered it back up. The initial cool-down process should use a lot more electricity, but it still wasn’t that much.

Even though it is old and likely far less efficient, the electricity usage is substantially less (because it is tiny in comparison).

I have had it switched on for a few days, and this is showing a daily average of just 0.23kwh or 84 kWh/year, which is just £24 per year to run, and in October, this would have been £43.68 but should be £30.24.

Running costs of other fridges and freezers

While it probably isn’t worth buying a new fridge/freezer to save money, it may be worth factoring in the running costs when you do buy one. If I was buying now, I might have reconsidered my stupidly large LG American fridge freezer.

Figures are based on the May 2022 variable rate of roughly 28p. Based on my experience, running costs will likely be less, but it depends on the number of people in your house and I assume the ambient temperature of your home.

I have also added the prices from October based on the £0.52 per kWh example Ofgem has given.

You may notice that most appliances appear to have rubbish energy ratings. This is because in 2020, the Energy Ratings changed to reflect modern appliances. The old ratings were based on figures back in the 90’s with the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings coming out in 2011. Now, what would have been an A+ appliance, will more likely be F or G-rated.

Under Counter Fridges

  • Electra EFUL133IE Integrated Under Counter Fridge
    • Cheapest fridge on AO.com
    • Price: £219
    • Energy Rating: F
    • 116  kWh/year
    • £32.48 per year to run
    • From October – £60.32
    • Government-backed October price cap: £41
  • Bosch Serie 6 KUR15AFF0G Integrated Under Counter Fridge
    • One of the best-reviewed
    • Price: £449
    • Energy Rating: F
    • 92 kWh/year
    • £25.76 per year to run
    • From October – £60.32
    • Government-backed October price cap: £32.50
  • Liebherr UIKP1550 Integrated Under Counter Fridge
    • E rated, one of the most expensive fridges on AO.com
    • Price: £999
    • 92 kWh/year
    • £25.76 per year to run
    • From October – £47.84
    • Government-backed October price cap: £32.50

Under Counter Freezer

Free Standing Fridge Freezers (Single width)

American Fridge Freezers (Double Width)

Spend a bit more on your freezer and get an E energy rating

In hindsight, this is not a surprise, but seeing the actual running costs makes it very clear that the freezer is far more costly to run than a fridge.

Picking up a cheap fridge with an F energy rating is unlikely to save you a lot of money.

However, it is quite likely you would see a return on investment by spending a little extra upfront on a more energy-efficient freezer.

Looking at the under-counter models:

The popular Bosch models may be excellent appliances, but they are expensive to run, being £20 more per year to run than the cheapest Hisense.

The Hisense FV105D4BC21 costs £50 more than the cheapest Electra EFUZ48BE, but you could potentially save £16 per year. That number will increase considerably when the price increase comes into effect in October, then again in January.

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