Business Programs View All Rebates About the OPA Homepage Links Downloads Contact Us.
The Great Refrigerator Roundup - Buying a New Fridge

Newer refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners and dehumidifiers cost much less to operate than older units. For example, replacing a 20-year-old, 18 cubic feet refrigerator with a new ENERGY STAR® refrigerator could save you up to $150 per year on your electricity bill. At this rate, the savings will pay for the cost of the new refrigerator in approximately five to seven years.

If you're planning to buy a new refrigerator or freezer, please consider these energy efficiency tips:


Choose the right size!

Energy StarThe larger the appliance, the more electricity it will use, so consider the number of people that will be using the appliance.

    • One or two people - 12 cubic feet
    • Three or four people - 14 to 17 cubic feet
    • Each additional person - add 2 cubic feet

Pick the right model

Top freezer models are the most efficient, followed by bottom freezers, with side-by-side models being the least efficient.


Look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol

The ENERGY STAR symbol is a simple way for you to identify products that are among the most energy-efficient on the market. Only manufacturers and retailers whose products meet the ENERGY STAR criteria can label their products with this symbol. Find out more about qualified ENERGY STAR products at


Look for a low EnerGuide rating

The EnerGuide label is a tool to help you make an energy-wise choice when buying a new appliance. It shows how much energy appliances consume in a year of normal service and makes it easy to compare the energy efficiency of each model to others of the same size and class. When shopping for a new appliance, look for a low EnerGuide rating. Find out about EnerGuide at: Once you have selected a new fridge or freezer, here are some additional energy efficiency tips you can follow:

  • Don't overfill the refrigerator - this blocks air circulation.
  • A full freezer will perform better than an empty one.
  • Clean your refrigerator's coils (in the back) and air intake grill (below the doors) every 3 months.
  • Allow hot foods to cool before putting them in the refrigerator.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers out of direct sunlight, and allow at least 5 cm all around the unit.