Despite the fact that newer models may appear to use more energy than previous models, 2014 refrigerators across the industry are more energy efficient than previous models, saving you money on your utility bill.

For more than two decades, household refrigerators and freezers have been subject to strict federal energy standards, determined by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

These standards determine the maximum amount of energy a refrigerator may use. All major home appliances, including refrigerators and freezers, must meet the energy standards set by the DOE, and manufacturers must use the DOE’s standard test procedures to prove the energy use and efficiency of their products.

Over the 20 years that appliance standards have been in effect, refrigerator efficiency has increased dramatically. Since 1990, the energy consumption of an average refrigerator has dropped more than 50%.

In other words, it takes less energy to power a 22-cubic-feet refrigerator than to keep a 50-wattlight bulb on all day. Now that’s smart energy savings!

Also, keep in mind that an ENERGY STAR®-rated refrigerator or freezer will save you additional energy, which will result in more cost savings on your utility bill.

2014 Changes in Testing Standards — Save Energy, Save Money

In 2014, the U.S. DOE is increasing the energy efficiency standards for refrigerators and freezers, requiring these products to be more efficient than previous models.

Starting in January 2014, many newly designed and highly energy efficient products will be available for purchase. These new products will include new EnergyGuide labels (the “yellow label”) that may show different, and sometimes even higher, energy usage than previous models. That higher energy usage number is driven by new measurements and updated electricity cost rates, based on the national average of 12 cents per kWh. The actual electricity cost will vary depending on your local electricity rates.