There is an almost 100% chance that the next refrigerator you will buy will run 24/7 until you choose to replace it. Needless to say, it will have a big impact on your electricity bill for the years to come. If you are particularly sensitive to the monthly operating cost of your fridge, it is important that you know the estimated power consumption of a refrigerator model before you buy it.
Using data that I’ve collated and analyzed, the average power consumption of refrigerators is 1.13 kWh per day. This means that if the power rate is at ₱9.744/kWh, then you should estimate that your refrigerator will contribute at least ₱330 per month to your electricity bill.
Keep in mind that some refrigerator models are more expensive to operate than others, and some are way more affordable depending on their make and type.
In this article, we will give you the estimated average power consumption of refrigerators per capacity, and what you can do to lower your fridge’s contribution to your electricity bill.
How to know the power consumption of a refrigerator
If you look at the fridge’s energy guide label, you’ll see its power consumption indicated in both watts (W) and kilowatts per 24 hours (kWh/24h). To get a more accurate estimation of the power consumption of your refrigerator, you should use its kWh/24h value. Here’s why:
To get the kWh/24h figure, we only need to divide the wattage by 1,000 then multiply by 24 hours. So if the wattage of the refrigerator from the above image is rated at 71 W, its energy consumption should be at 1.704 kWh/24h. So why then is it only indicated at 0.61 kWh/24h in its energy guide label?
As you may know, the compressor of a refrigerator periodically turns on and off to maintain the set temperature inside the fridge. So while the rated power input of the refrigerator is at 71 W, it is not using that all the time.
Meanwhile, the energy consumption value in kWh/24h is based on the actual performance data of the model running under standard test conditions for a month done by the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS). Hence why this should be more accurate than computing your refrigerator’s power consumption using its wattage alone.
We’ve also written about the average EEF figures of refrigerators. Go check it out!
Power consumption of refrigerators (per capacity)
For the following data, we will be using this list from the Department of Energy (DOE). We’ve parsed the data for you to make it easier to understand. We also used Meralco’s power rate of ₱9.744 per kWh, which is the average rate of all residential Meralco customers.
|Capacity||Average Power Consumption||Power Rate||Cost Per Day||Cost Per Month|
|Less than 5.0 cu.ft.||0.69 kWh/24h||₱9.744||₱6.72||₱201.70|
|5.0 cu.ft. - 5.9 cu.ft.||0.81 kWh/24h||₱9.744||₱7.89||₱236.78|
|6.0 cu.ft. - 6.9 cu.ft.||1.02 kWh/24h||₱9.744||₱9.94||₱298.17|
|7.0 cu.ft. - 7.9. cu.ft.||1.10 kWh/24h||₱9.744||₱10.72||₱321.55|
|8.0 cu.ft. - 8.9 cu.ft.||1.12 kWh/24h||₱9.744||₱10.91||₱327.40|
|9.0 cu.ft. - 9.9 cu.ft.||1.21 kWh/24h||₱9.744||₱11.79||₱353.71|
The models included in each capacity were not segregated based on their type, which means that the average includes two doors and single doors, as well as inverters and non-inverters.
With this, we’ve parsed the data even more so you can see in a quick glance the difference between the different types of refrigerators.
Power consumption of inverter vs. non-inverter refrigerators
As you know, an inverter refrigerator has a lower power consumption than its non-inverter counterpart. Here are the average power consumption figures of these two types:
|5.0 cu.ft. - 5.9 cu.ft.||0.78 kWh/24h||0.40 kWh/24h||-49%|
|6.0 cu.ft. - 6.9 cu.ft.||0.86 kWh/24h||0.43 kWh/24h||-50%|
|7.0 cu.ft. - 7.9. cu.ft.||1.19 kWh/24h||0.72 kWh/24h||-39%|
|8.0 cu.ft. - 8.9 cu.ft.||1.35 kWh/24h||0.80 kWh/24h||-41%|
|9.0 cu.ft. - 9.9 cu.ft.||1.54 kWh/24h||0.85 kWh/24h||-45%|
This means that on average, an inverter refrigerator uses 45% less energy compared to a non-inverter model.
We’ve done a deeper dive on the difference between an inverter vs. a non-inverter refrigerator before. Go check it out!
Power consumption of manual defrost vs. no frost refrigerators
Refrigerators are also categorized as either manual defrost or no frost.
Between the two types of fridges, manual defrost models are simpler and more inexpensive to operate.
Meanwhile, a no frost refrigerator has several fans to distribute cold air evenly throughout its compartments, and a heating element tucked inside the freezer to melt the frost away. This makes it more expensive to operate at the expense of convenience.
|Capacity||Manual Defrost||No Frost||Difference|
|5.0 cu.ft. - 5.9 cu.ft.||0.78 kWh/24h||1.49 kWh/24h||91%|
|6.0 cu.ft. - 6.9 cu.ft.||0.95 kWh/24h||1.32 kWh/24h||39%|
|7.0 cu.ft. - 7.9. cu.ft.||1.04 kWh/24h||1.23 kWh/24h||18%|
|8.0 cu.ft. - 8.9 cu.ft.*||1.17 kWh/24h||1.06 kWh/24h||-9%|
|9.0 cu.ft. - 9.9 cu.ft.*||1.26 kWh/24h||1.15 kWh/24h||-9%|
Note: In this table, the average energy consumption of the no frost models tend to go down because there are more inverter models in this category.
Now that you can estimate the power consumption of a refrigerator, you can now make a better choice when deciding the best refrigerator model for you.
However, keep in mind that these are just estimations. Proper usage habits and regular maintenance will determine whether your electricity bill will be high or low.
- Department of Energy (2020, March) List of certified refrigerators as of march 2020. [Dataset]. Department of Energy – Philippines. https://www.doe.gov.ph/sites/default/files/pdf/energy_efficiency/certified_ref_type_2020_1st_quarter.pdf
- Meralco. (2020, June). Category: Refrigerators and Freezers (Tested units as of June 2020) [Dataset]. Manila Electric Company. https://meralcomain.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/images/ckeditor-documents/Fans%2C%20Blowers%20%26%20Air%20Coolers%20June%202020.pdf?null
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.