Best Energy-Efficient Refrigerators From Consumer Reports' Tests

These top-rated models from Amana, Dacor, LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool are good for your wallet and the planet

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Inside of refrigerator GettyImages-746277305

The appliances you buy can have a big impact on your energy bill. They run so frequently (or in the case of refrigerators, 24/7/365) that their energy costs get baked into your fixed expenses for years to come. The good news is that home appliances, and refrigerators in particular, have become much more efficient over the years, costing people less and less.

“Newer refrigerators use much less energy than their predecessors,” says Larry Ciufo, CR’s test engineer for refrigerators. “Federal standards are constantly updated to ensure that refrigerators of certain sizes use ever-lower amounts of energy, and manufacturers introduce new technologies to meet those standards.”

But which are the most energy-efficient? Our tests show that top-freezer and bottom-freezer refrigerators usually cost less to run than side-by-side and French-door models.

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“Side-by-side models have a tall, thin freezer with a lot of external surface area that gets warm, and French-door bottom-freezers usually have energy-hungry add-ons, like an in-the-fridge icemaker and an anti-sweat heater,” Ciufo says.

Of course, you may see lower annual energy costs on another style of refrigerator, depending on its size. And as you might expect, the refrigerator’s manufacturer makes a difference.

All of this can make it tricky to find a refrigerator that will cut down on your electric bill. That’s where CR can help. We calculate the annual energy cost for every refrigerator in our ratings using the national average electricity cost at the time of testing. You can see these costs under the Features & Specs section of our ratings charts.

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of the best energy-efficient refrigerators in each refrigerator type, sorted by Overall Score. We chose models that earn Very Good or Excellent ratings for energy efficiency while still offering solid performance, reliability, and owner satisfaction. The models are made by Amana, LG, Samsung, Sub-Zero, and Whirlpool.

To see even more highly rated energy-efficient fridges, go to our full refrigerator ratings and sort by energy efficiency. And if you need help shopping for a new refrigerator, check out our free refrigerator buying guide.

Energy-Efficient Fridges From CR's Tests

Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).