Last changed: 23/03/12
EU Regulation (EU) Nr. 1062/2010 PDF / 3,49 MB stipulates that the EU label must be affixed to refrigerators and freezers starting late 2011. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Refrigerators and freezers labelling issues:Why is there energy consumption labelling for refrigerators and freezers?
There has been an energy consumption label for refrigerators and freezers since 1998, which advises consumers of appliance size as well as energy consumption and energy efficiency class. Since there have been enormous improvements in energy efficiency since labelling began, new efficiency classes have been added since 2004. The labelling scheme for refrigerators will introduce Efficiency Class A+++, making all efficiency classes visible on the label and including information about noise emissions.
Cooling appliances must conduct heat away from the compressor and cooling fins, which are usually located at the rear of the appliance. The cooling condenser is sometimes located on the side of the unit. Enough space must be allowed for the condenser to dissipate heat, which can be aided by a spacer. The cooling fin grille should be kept dust-free if at all possible. Built-in units require air vents both above and under the cooling fins.
Appliances should be operated in a cool area and not placed immediately next to a dishwasher or cooker. Rooms that are 1 °C cooler than others can save about 6% energy in refrigerators and about 3% in freezers. Optimal temperature inside the fridge is ca. 7 °C and ca. -18 °C in freezers. If temperature setting is too low, energy consumption will increase.
The more seldom a door is opened, the lower the energy consumption. The temperature of the foods themselves also impacts the appliance’s energy consumption: the cooler the food, the less cooling is needed. If possible, transport cold foods in cooler bags so that the temperature they contain at the shop can be used to avoid having to cool down excessively at home. Place hot foods into the fridge only after they have cooled off completely.
The refrigerator of choice should not be too big since every unused ‘empty’ space costs energy and money. A 70-90-litre capacity refrigerator with is usually sufficient for 1-2 persons. In larger households it makes sense to calculate 40-50 litres’ capacity per person.
An illustration of energy efficiency class and corresponding letter takes up most of the space on the label. The most efficient appliances are in the top, dark green efficiency class, which may now be labelled A++ or A+++. Browse in shops, catalogues or online to see if an appliance with this labelling is available.
In addition to capacity (volume of fresh food and frozen food), the label indicates the appliance’s annual electricity consumption and noise emissions to enable comparison within an identical size group.
See here in German, PDF / 81 KB for an explanation of fridge and freezer energy labels.
A new appliance can save up to 60% per year compared to a 10-year-old appliance. The table below illustrates the higher energy costs compared to an appliance in Efficiency Class A+++:
refrigerator without freezer compartment
refrigerator with a freezer compartment