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3 min read

How to read a refrigerator's EnergyGuide label

How to read a refrigerator's EnergyGuide label
How to read a refrigerator's EnergyGuide label



EnergyGuide labels provide valuable information about a product. Let's take a closer look at what kind of information is on there and what they mean.




What's an EnergyGuide label?


FTC’s EnergyGuide label is a yellow tag that is found on most appliances. This label shows an estimate of the yearly energy cost for that appliance model based on typical usage and allows the consumer to compare the model’s energy use with similar models. Energy efficient appliances cost less to run, and they can lower your utility bills. Energy efficiency is also good for the environment as it reduces air pollution and dependence on natural resources.


Some of the appliances that have an EnergyGuide label are clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators. Cooking appliances and clothes dryers do no carry an EnergyGuide label.



What’s on a refrigerator's EnergyGuide label?


Here is what an EnergyGuide label for refrigerators looks like and here is what the symbols and numbers stand for: 

The EnergyGuide label displays key information about an appliance's energy consumption and gives the consumers a chance to compare it with similar products in the market. Read below to see what each numbered section means.


Key Features


The key features of the appliance that make up the cost range below are shown here.




Product Model & Capacity


The make, model and the size of the appliance are shown here.




Estimated Yearly Energy Cost


Estimated cost of yearly operation is shown here. This is calculated based on this appliance's electricity use (shown below) and the national average cost of energy. Every appliance on the market displays this estimated cost so that you can compare the cost between different models.


For a more accurate calculation you can check the electricity cost in your city as the national average is updated once in five years for these labels.




Cost Ranges


The cost ranges that similar products on the market fall into is shown here. First line shows the cost range of models with similar features and the second line shows all models within the refrigerator category.


With the help of this cost range, you can see how energy efficient this product is compared to similar products. If the "Estimated Yearly Energy Cost" is closer to the left end of the range, it means that this product is more energy efficient than most of the products similar to it.




Estimated Yearly Electricity Use (kWh/year)


Estimated yearly use of energy is shown here. This is based on the appliance’s average electricity consumption with a typical use. This estimation tends to be fairly accurate for refrigerators since the appliance runs 24/7 all year.


When you multiply this amount with the national average electricity cost (shown below) you can calculate the estimated yearly energy cost (shown above).




ENERGY STAR® Certification


If this product is certified by the EPA to be energy efficient, the ENERGY STAR® logo is shown here. Find out more in our article about ENERGY STAR® Certification!




Why should you care about energy efficiency?


For two basic reasons:

  1. Your household budget and 
  2. The environment 

Though refrigerators with better energy efficiency tend to be a bit more expensive, they cost less to run. If you replace your refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator you can save more than $200 over the lifetime of that product.


You might be thinking “what difference will just one refrigerator make?”. Well, it’s a cumulative effect. Energy-efficiency has never been more important than now where resources are running low and the effects of human life on nature is ever increasing. 


If all refrigerators sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR® certified, the energy cost savings would grow to nearly $700 million each year and 9 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from more than 870,000 vehicles.

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