The interior of an energy-efficient refrigerator.

The appliances you buy can have a big impact on your energy bill, and that gets baked into your fixed expenses for years to come. The good news is that home appliances—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-freezers and bottom-freezers usually cost less to run than side-by-sides and French-doors.

More on Energy Efficiency & Appliances

“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, Dacor, Frigidaire, Haier, and LG.

To see even more highly rated energy-efficient fridges, go to our full refrigerator ratings and sort by energy efficiency.

Energy-Efficient Fridges From CR's Tests

Top Picks


Energy efficiency
Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control


Energy efficiency
Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Unlock Refrigerator Ratings
Become a Member or Sign in