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Where have all the A-rated fridges and fridge freezers gone?
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Where have all the A-rated fridges and fridge freezers gone? 

If you’ve been shopping for a new refrigerator recently, you may be wondering where all the A-rated fridge freezers have gone.

A couple of years ago, shops were awash with appliances with energy ratings of A+, A++ and even A+++, and now there are barely any.

Read on to find out why, or head straight to our fridge freezer reviews.


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Energy efficiency rating changes explained

On 1 March 2021 a new energy label came into effect, highlighting a new energy efficiency rating system and other useful buying information.

The key change to the energy efficiency rating system was the removal of the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings, which first came into use in 2010/11.

The familiar colour scale remains, but products are now rated from A to G, rather than the previous confusing scale of A+++ to D scale. 

On the updated scale, fridges and fridge freezers that previously had the most efficient A+++ rating are now rated D.


Looking for a new fridge freezer? See our Best fridge freezers page for advice.


Why was the energy rating system changed?

The energy efficiency of modern refrigerators has improved hugely, compared with those made five to 10 years ago. But within the old energy rating system there was no room to reflect this improvement.

Eventually, more than half of the products on the market were labelled A++ and A+++. The system was confusing and it was difficult for shoppers to identify which models were actually the most efficient.

The rescaling left the top category (A) empty in a bid to encourage manufacturers to make even more efficient appliances and to make it clearer what you’re getting for your money.


Find out which kitchen appliances use the most energy.


What rating should I look for to get a decent fridge freezer?

Fridge freezer with new energy label

The new energy rating system is now more accurate and has created greater separation between products.

Most fridge freezers rated A+++ on the old scale are now D. Unless you’re after an integrated or American-style model, or one with a low upfront price, we recommend you look for a fridge freezer rated D or above.

Picking a fridge freezer with an energy-efficiency rating halfway down the scale is likely to feel odd. Right now, though, buying a model in at least the D class is a good starting point for landing an energy-efficient appliance.

Only a handful of fridge freezers have been released with a C or B rating, but Samsung and LG have already managed to bring out models rated A on the new scale. You’ll pay a premium for them, though.

A-rated: Samsung RL38A776ASR freestanding fridge freezer, £1,430

Samsung RL38A776ASR freestanding fridge freezer

This Samsung fridge freezer was one of the first to receive an A rating for energy efficiency under the new labelling system, so it should be economical to run.

Samsung says its SpaceMax walls are thinner than standard fridge freezers so there’s more room inside for your food.

Read our Samsung RL38A776ASR review to get the full picture.

A-rated: LG GBB92MCBAP freestanding fridge freezer, £1,599

The LG GBB92MCBAP freestanding fridge freezer is the first A-rated fridge freezer from LG, under the new energy labelling scheme.

LG says its precise temperature technology will help keep food fresh and that its ‘DoorCooling+ technology’ means an even temperature inside.

Read our full LG GBB92MCBAP review to find out how it did in our tests.


Looking for a fridge freezer that’s cheap to run? See our pick of the best energy efficient fridge freezers.


What other useful information is on the energy label?

New fridge freezer energy label

As well as the energy-efficiency rating, you’ll find additional information on the energy label.

QR-code for more product information

Hover your smartphone camera over the QR code on the energy label to access the specific product page on EPREL (the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling) database, where you can access further information about the product.

Energy consumption

The annual energy consumption is now shown in kWh per year for refrigeration appliances. 

Volumes

This is the total volume in litres of all the chilled and frozen compartments in your fridge freezer, based on the total volume stated by the manufacturer.

Noise

The noise emissions for the appliance is shown in decibels and then rated on a scale of A to D with A being the quietest.


Find an appliance with low running costs: energy efficient fridge freezers, energy efficient fridges and energy efficient freezers.


How Which? tests fridge freezers for energy efficiency

We measure how much energy each fridge freezer uses to keep cool over 24 hours, as well as how much it uses to chill and freeze fresh food. We then calculate what this is likely to add to your energy bill.

To see whether a fridge freezer is cheap to run for its size, we also rate its energy use against the amount of usable storage space it offers.

You’ll find our estimate of the annual running costs in the Tech Specs section for each fridge freezer review.

Eco Buy fridges and fridge freezers

Which? Eco Buy badge

We’ve recently rolled out the Which? Eco Buy logo for fridges and fridge freezers.

This is given to the products that will have the smallest environmental impact while still doing their job well.

To become an Eco Buy, a fridge or fridge freezer must have:

  • A total test score of at least 70%
  • Five stars for energy efficiency
  • Four stars and above for cooling and freezing power
  • Its brand must get a good longevity rating in our annual consumer surveys

You can filter for Eco Buys on our fridge and fridge freezer reviews pages.


Read our guide to choosing a Which? Eco Buy.


Read More

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