Most Energy-Efficient Refrigerators

Energy-efficient appliances are good for both your wallet, and the environment. Canstar Blue takes a look at the most energy-efficient refrigerators you can buy in New Zealand.

The cost of running household appliances adds up quickly. If you’re looking to save money, or reduce your carbon footprint, taking into account the energy usage of your appliances is crucial, as the energy efficiency of your appliances can play a big role in the ongoing electricity costs of your home. And our refrigerators are one of the most important, and most used appliances in our household. After all, we basically never turn them off.

Which is why, if you’re in the hunt for a new fridge, it pays to consider just how energy-efficient it is.

What do you mean by energy-efficient?

Appliances in New Zealand are given an energy star rating out of six. The higher the stars, the more energy-efficient an appliance is considered. Meaning, it sucks up less power when in use.

A refrigerator (fridge freezer combo) with high energy efficiency will use less power while in use. Not only will this save you money, but it will help reduce the carbon footprint of your machine.

most energy-efficient refrigerators: liebherr
Liebherr CNEF 4315 refrigerator

The most energy-efficient refrigerators

To help you in your hunt for a new fridge, we’ve listed some of the most energy-efficient refrigerators (fridge freezers) currently available, in New Zealand.

Annual running costs have been sourced via Gen Less’ Efficient Appliance Calculator. Estimations* have been made where annual running costs are not available. All prices best prices available online at time of writing.

1. Liebherr CNEF 4315 ($3549)

  • Annual running costs: $51
  • Energy star rating: 5.5
  • Overall capacity: 350L
  • Fridge capacity: 230L
  • Freezer capacity: 120L
  • Configuration: bottom freezer

2. LG GB455 ($1738)/LG GB335 ($1299)

  • Annual running costs: $75/$73
  • Energy star rating: 4.5/4
  • Overall capacity: 454L/335L
  • Fridge capacity: 299L/212L
  • Freezer capacity: 155L/123L
  • Configuration: bottom freezer

3. Westinghouse 4504 ($1988)

  • Annual running costs: $75
  • Energy star rating: 4.5
  • Overall capacity: 453L
  • Fridge capacity: 311L
  • Freezer capacity: 142L
  • Configuration: bottom freezer

4. Sharp SJX339SSL ($1049)

  • Annual running costs: $72
  • Energy star rating: 4
  • Overall capacity: 339L
  • Fridge capacity: 244L
  • Freezer capacity: 95L
  • Configuration: top freezer

5. Midea 352535 ($1169)

  • Annual running costs: $83
  • Energy star rating: 4
  • Overall capacity: 535L
  • Fridge capacity: 398L
  • Freezer capacity: 137L
  • Configuration: top freezer


Samsung refrigerator
Samsung SR318LSTC refrigerator

The most energy-efficient refrigerator – budget

Finding energy-efficient refrigerators on a budget can be a challenge. As most low-end models tend to have a low energy star rating. However, for under $1000, you can still find a few models that can save you power. If you only need a smaller fridge freezer, under 300L, the options are wider. Our top pick for a standard size refrigerator is:

Samsung SR318LSTC ($849)

  • Annual running costs: $80*
  • Energy star rating: 3.5
  • Overall capacity: 318L
  • Fridge capacity: 229L
  • Freezer capacity: 79L
  • Configuration: top freezer

The most energy-efficient refrigerator – small capacity

Samsung SR255MLS ($999)

  • Annual running costs: $70*
  • Energy star rating: 3.5
  • Overall capacity: 236L
  • Fridge capacity: 183L
  • Freezer capacity: 53L
  • Configuration: top freezer


Mitsubishi energy-efficient refrigerators
Mitsubishi Electric MR-LX630EM refrigerator

The most energy-efficient refrigerator – large capacity

If you have a large family and enjoy stocking up on groceries, or, sealing away your leftovers. Then a large capacity fridge will be perfect for you. These fridges require more energy, due to their larger size, so it’s crucial you get one that is energy-efficient.

Mitsubishi Electric MR-LX630EM ($4298)

  • Annual running costs: $98
  • Energy star rating: 4
  • Overall capacity: 630L
  • Fridge capacity: 333L
  • Freezer capacity: 297L
  • Configuration: French door fridge with bottom freezer


The most energy-efficient chest freezers

Sometimes the smaller freezer on your fridge freezer combo just isn’t enough. Whether you stock up on groceries for a large family, or hunt and need more space to freeze your catch, a stand-alone chest freezer can be a great option. Below we have listed two energy-efficient chest freezers, to account for differing size requirements.

Haier HCF143 ($448)

  • Annual running costs: $55
  • Energy star rating: 3.5
  • Capacity: 143L

Midea 351515 ($1079)

  • Annual running costs: $106
  • Energy star rating: 3.5
  • Capacity: 510L

most energy-efficient refrigerators

How can I lower the energy use of my refrigerator?

Our fridges run all day, every day. And even energy-efficient refrigerators can rack up the bills if not maintained and used correctly. So, some key tips to lowering the energy use of your fridge are:

  • Keep it (almost) full. A full fridge runs more efficiently, but ventilation is crucial as well. Fridges can be fickle to say the least. Try keep them around two-thirds full, this will keep it running efficiently while leaving enough space for proper ventilation
  • Keep it closed. If you’re just grabbing the milk to add a drop in your tea, before putting it back, it’s easier to leave the fridge open. But doing so lets a lot of cool air escape, forcing your fridge into overdrive as it cools back down. No matter how quick you are, close the fridge
  • Check the seals. If these have worn, or aren’t fitted tightly, cold air can escape. Meaning your fridge has to keep on cooling
  • Defrost. Ice build-up can impact the efficiency of your freezer. If ice around the inside is more than 1cm thick, scrape it away

Finding the best power provider

While energy-efficient appliances are a great way to save you money, you also need to be getting a good deal on your power. While less than half of Kiwis believe they are getting a good deal on their power, only 12% of us have actually changed our electricity provider in the last 12-months.

Ultimately, finding affordable power involves shopping around. And the fact that you’re reading this means that you’re already on the right track to finding a great deal on power. But when comparing power companies, it’s important to consider the broader picture – don’t become too focused on finding a deal with a big prompt payment discount or special perk. Be sure to balance all the rates, discounts, fees and contract periods when making a decision, as well as more personal factors, such as customer service and support.

Compare with Canstar Blue

Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.

See Our Ratings Methodology

Compare electricity providers for free with Canstar Blue!

author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.

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