A Quick Guide to ENERGY STAR Refrigerators

When it comes to purchasing a new refrigerator, making an informed choice is crucial. After all, this appliance is one that you will rely on daily, and it could be with you for well over a decade. While many factors influence this choice, one of the key aspects to consider is energy efficiency. 

In this article, we’ll help you understand the energy star refrigerator rating system, giving you the knowledge you need to make an energy-smart choice that aligns with your budget, space, and requirements. If you’re looking for a reliable brand that consistently delivers high-performing, energy-efficient refrigerators, consider Allfield Refrigeration, the leading commercial refrigeration Perth company in the industry. 

The importance of energy efficiency 

Before diving into the specifics of the Energy Rating Label, it’s essential to understand why energy efficiency matters. When an appliance is energy-efficient, it uses less electricity to perform its functions, which leads to several benefits: 

  • Cost savings: Energy-efficient appliances, like refrigerators, can lead to substantial cost savings. By using less electricity over their typical decade-long lifespan, these appliances cost less to operate. Even with higher upfront costs, the money saved on electricity bills in a country with high energy costs like Australia can offset these initial expenses, making energy efficiency a smart financial decision. For instance, a refrigerator saving 200 kWh per year could lead to savings of $600 over ten years, assuming an electricity cost of $0.30 per kWh. 
  • Environmental impact: The environmental benefits of energy-efficient appliances are also noteworthy. They help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by consuming less electricity, which is particularly relevant in regions dependent on fossil fuels for power generation. A refrigerator using 200 kWh less per year could prevent 1.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions over a decade, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts and reducing your carbon footprint. 
  • Sustainability: Energy efficiency also contributes to sustainability by preserving finite energy resources and minimising the environmental impact of electricity production. It embodies the principle of meeting our needs without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. By choosing energy-efficient appliances, we not only benefit financially and reduce environmental harm but also promote a sustainable future. 

Allfield also offers energy-efficient commercial air conditioning Perth. Read more here. 

Unpacking the Energy Rating Label 

Now that we understand why energy efficiency is important, let’s look at the Energy Rating Label itself. It comprises two main components: 

#1 Star rating: This is a measure of the appliance’s energy efficiency. The scale runs from 1 to 6 stars, with 6 stars indicating the highest energy efficiency. The stars are depicted in red. However, exceptionally energy-efficient appliances may feature up to 4 additional black stars, bringing the maximum possible rating to 10 stars. 

#2 Energy consumption: This number, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), represents the appliance’s estimated annual energy consumption under standard conditions. The lower this figure, the less energy the appliance is expected to use over a year. 

Interpreting the Energy Star Rating 

The star rating on the Energy Rating Label is a user-friendly way to quickly identify the energy efficiency of an appliance, acting as a guide to potential energy consumption. But the interpretation of the star rating is not as simple as it first appears. A few key points require a deeper understanding. 

The significance of the Energy Star Rating 

Each appliance, including refrigerators, is awarded a rating from 1 to 6 stars (in red), with 6 stars indicating top-level energy efficiency. A further four stars can be added (in black) for particularly exceptional appliances, making a maximum possible rating of 10 stars. 

In essence, the more stars, the more energy-efficient the appliance is, meaning it uses less electricity to perform its functions compared to a similar appliance with fewer stars. Choosing a refrigerator with a high star rating can therefore be an effective way to reduce energy consumption and save on electricity bills. 

The relativity of the Energy Star Rating 

While a high star rating is generally desirable, it’s essential to understand that these ratings are assigned relative to other appliances of similar size and type. This means a large refrigerator with a high star rating may still consume more electricity in absolute terms than a smaller refrigerator with a lower star rating. 

To illustrate this, consider two refrigerators. One is a large two-door model with a 4-star rating, and the other is a smaller single-door model with a 3-star rating. Despite the larger model having a higher star rating, it may still use more electricity overall due to its larger size and greater cooling capacity. 

This highlights the fact that while the star rating can be a useful guide to energy efficiency, it should not be the sole criterion when choosing an appliance. The size and type of the appliance, as well as your business’s specific needs, should also factor into your decision. 

Star rating and real-world usage 

It’s also worth noting that the star rating is based on standard test conditions and may not perfectly reflect actual energy usage in your business. Factors such as how often the refrigerator door is opened, the ambient temperature of your business, and how full you keep your refrigerator can all influence the appliance’s actual energy consumption. 

Interpreting the energy consumption figure 

While the star rating is an excellent starting point for understanding an appliance’s energy efficiency, it doesn’t provide the complete picture. To gain a more comprehensive insight, you need to consider the energy consumption figure also presented on the Energy Rating Label. 

Understanding the energy consumption figure 

The energy consumption figure, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, offers a more precise measure of the appliance’s energy use. It provides an estimate of the amount of electricity the appliance is expected to consume over a year under standard conditions. This figure is calculated based on a range of tests designed to simulate ‘typical’ usage. 

The energy consumption figure is useful because it translates the appliance’s energy efficiency into a concrete number that can be directly linked to your energy bill. For instance, if the energy consumption figure on a refrigerator is listed as 500 kWh, and the cost of electricity is $0.30 per kWh, you can estimate that the refrigerator will cost around $150 per year to operate. 

Using the Energy Rating Label to make an informed purchase 

Choosing a new refrigerator is a significant decision. A good refrigerator can last over a decade, making it one of the long-term investments for your business. While energy efficiency is an important factor, it’s also essential to consider other aspects such as size, capacity, features, style, brand reputation, and price: 

  • Size and capacity: An oversized refrigerator can result in unnecessary energy consumption, while an undersized one may struggle to meet your storage demands, potentially compromising food safety and operational efficiency. It’s crucial to assess your daily storage requirements, peak demand periods, and available kitchen space to choose a refrigerator that’s the right fit for your business. 
  • Features: Modern commercial refrigerators boast a variety of features to meet different business needs, from adjustable shelving for space optimization, to digital temperature controls for precise cooling, and even gastronorm compatibility for streamlined food preparation. More advanced models may include smart technology for remote monitoring or automatic defrost features to save energy and maintain optimal cooling. Consider which features align with your business operations and how they might influence the refrigerator’s energy consumption. The right features can enhance operational efficiency, food safety standards, and ultimately, the energy efficiency of the appliance. 
  • Style: Commercial refrigerators come in a variety of styles—reach-in, undercounter, worktop, roll-in, and walk-in, to name a few. Some styles may offer better energy efficiency than others due to their design and usage patterns, but it’s crucial to choose a style that suits your business needs and operational layout. Whether you’re running a large-scale catering business requiring a walk-in refrigerator or a compact cafe needing an undercounter style, ensuring the chosen design aligns with your commercial requirements can greatly impact its efficiency and effectiveness in your setting. 
  • Brand reputation: Consider the brand’s reputation for quality, reliability, and customer service. A reliable refrigerator can save you money in the long run by avoiding frequent repairs or premature replacement. By choosing Allfield Refrigeration, you have the peace of mind of partnering with a reputable company that will deliver on its promises. 
  • Price: The initial purchase price is an important consideration, but remember to also consider the lifetime cost of the refrigerator, including energy and potential maintenance costs. 

The bigger picture: energy efficiency and sustainable living 

The Energy Rating Label is more than just a tool for comparing appliances; it’s part of a broader effort to promote energy efficiency and sustainable living. By choosing more energy-efficient appliances, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption. This not only saves you money but also helps reduce your environmental impact 

Understanding and using the Energy Rating Label can be a significant step towards more sustainable living. By making informed decisions about the appliances you buy, you contribute to conserving energy resources and mitigating climate change. 

Do you require commercial refrigeration repairs Perth? The team at Allfield are expert in even the most complicated of repair jobs. Learn more here. 


Understanding energy efficiency ratings is vital when buying a refrigerator, offering savings on electricity bills and promoting sustainability. Equipped with this knowledge, you can make an informed choice that fits your needs. 

Every choice for energy efficiency supports a sustainable future. By choosing Allfield Refrigeration, known for its energy-efficient and high-performing refrigerators, you step towards this goal. Get in touch with Allfield today to discuss your refrigeration needs and learn more about our range of energy star rated refrigerators. Choose wisely for your pocket and our planet! 

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