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

To replace or not to replace

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.

Generally, older fridge-freezers will consume more energy than a new highly energy-efficient one as EU regulations setting limits to energy use have come into effect.  In its 2006 fridge-freezer tests, Which? found that the highest annual running cost recorded was £89 and the lowest £27. In a repeat of the same test in 2010, the annual energy costs recorded by Which? were as little as £14 and no more than £47 a year, even after factoring in energy price rises.[1]

Monitoring the energy usage of your current appliance

You may find it useful to monitor the actual energy consumption of your fridge-freezer. This can be done using a plug-in energy-usage meter. This is plugged into the socket and the appliance is plugged into the meter. Monitoring electricity usage for a month, or even a week, allows you to gain an idea of the annual consumption.

Bear in mind that refrigeration equipment works hardest in the warmer months so you may need to assume a lower or higher average monthly energy use depending on the time of year you perform the test.

The new EU Energy Label shows the average hourly electricity use of appliances, so you can easily find out how your fridge-freezers fares compared to a new model before committing to a purchase.

 

References

[1] Which?, http://www.which.co.uk/home-and-garden/kitchen/guides/fridge-repairs-and-spares/repair-or-replace-your-fridge/, accessed October 2012