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What Does F Energy Rating Mean on a Fridge Freezer?

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By Elizabeth Masterman

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Choosing a fridge freezer with a good energy rating means it will be more energy efficient and better for the environment. But what do those energy ratings actually mean?

What Does F Enery Rating Mean?

F is currently the 2nd lowest energy efficiency rating for a fridge freezer. It means the appliance has an Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) of between 65 and 80%. The EEI is calculated by assessing the appliance’s annual energy consumption and dividing this by the standard annual energy consumption.

The G rating applies to appliances with an EEI of 80 to 100%. At present, these products are still allowed on the market, but in September 2023 the minimum threshold will be raised to 80%, and the G rating will be scrapped to help in the drive to improve energy performance.

Is an F-Rated Fridge Freezer Bad?

As F and G are the lowest energy ratings, it would be easy to assume that fridge freezers with this energy rating would be bad.

However, under the old rating system, which was only replaced as recently as March 2021, an F would have been equivalent to an A+, one of the highest ratings.

Energy efficiency ratings were introduced around 20 years ago, to enable consumers to compare appliances, as most of us will want to buy the most energy-efficient model we can within our budget.

In the original system, an A rating was the most efficient, down to F being the least efficient.

However, with technological advances, more and more appliances were meeting the requirements for an A rating, meaning that consumers needed a new way to compare the appliances in this top category.

This is why the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings were introduced.

But as the number of appliances in these top bands increased, the lower bands were becoming obsolete, so in 2021 this system was overhauled. Under the new system, A is the most energy-efficient, down to G being the least efficient.

However, the new system is designed to be future-proof, allowing for plenty of space at the top of the rating system as technology improves. This means that the vast majority of fridge freezers on the market currently have an energy rating of E or F.

So, compared to other fridge freezers on the market today, those that receive an F or G rating are the least efficient. But they are around 40% more energy efficient than the average appliance in the home would have been as little as a decade ago.

What is a Good Energy Rating for a Fridge Freezer?

Currently, there are very few fridge freezers in the top energy rating bands. Most fridge freezers that would have been rated A+++ under the old system would now be given a D rating, so if it fits within your budget, this is the rating to go for.

However, as previously mentioned, the vast majority of fridge freezers at the moment fall into the E or F category, so go for the highest energy rating you can within your budget.

Also, bear in mind that a little more upfront cost will likely be offset by the savings you make on your energy bills, as an appliance with a higher energy rating is likely to cost more to buy but will cost less to run.

Are A-Rated Fridge Freezers More Expensive?

An A rating means that the fridge freezer has an EEI below 10%, meaning it is more energy efficient than 90% of similar items on the market.

These appliances use the very latest technology, and this is reflected in the price tag.

It’s also important to remember that there are very few fridge freezers with this rating on the market, so it’s no surprise you pay a premium for it.

Manufacturers are working hard to improve the energy efficiency of their appliances to meet this demand, and they want to see some return for these efforts.

Do remember, though, that an additional upfront cost is likely to be offset by lower energy bills, so in the long term, it may be worth spending a bit more to reduce the cost of running it.

To put this into real terms, at current energy prices (November 2022), a fridge freezer with an A rating will cost you around £37 a year to run, compared to around £140 a year for a fridge freezer with an F rating, so over 10 years you could save around £1,000.

Additionally, as there are not many A-rated fridge freezers on the market, you are likely to be limited in choice. So if you are looking for a fridge freezer that’s a particular size or colour, you may need to opt for a lower energy rating.

What Other Information Is on the Energy Rating Label?

The new labels include a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone, allowing easy access to the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL) database, which gives more detailed information about the product, such as the product registration details and the product information sheet.

The label also states the annual energy consumption of the fridge freezer in kilowatt-hours/year, as well as the total volume capacity of both the fridge section and the freezer section in litres.

Finally, there is also information regarding the noise emission of the product, including the volume in decibels and a rating from A to D.

A is the quietest and is given to products below 30 decibels, and D is the highest for appliances above 42 decibels.

Energy Label

Want to know more about appliance energy ratings? Then check these FAQS out:

Why Were Energy Ratings Changed?

Energy ratings were recently changed to allow for technological advances. Most appliances were hitting A ratings, so this has now been made more difficult.

What is the Best Energy Rating for a Fridge Freezer?

Under the latest system, after multiple iterations, a simple A rating is the best energy rating a fridge freezer can achieve

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