Monday - Dec 18, 2017

The Cost Of Cold – How Much Does The World Spend In Its Fridges?


Fridges and freezers (including their combined single-appliance incarnation, the fridge freezer) have become among the most widespread and essential appliances in the world. They have transformed the way food is kept and stored and enabled comparatively long-term storage of foodstuffs that once had only a very short shelf life. They are in use both domestically and commercially around the world, but what is the total price tag that comes with running these appliances over the course of a year?

How Much Does Refrigeration Cost Around the World?

The simple if somewhat disappointing truth is that nobody seems to know. Fridges are extremely widespread in both domestic and commercial markets. They have been in use for decades now, and some decades-old appliances are still in use. This makes it extremely difficult to keep track of how many fridges are currently in use, how many are being replaced, and how fast the total number is increasing each year. Estimating how many of the billions of fridges sold over the years are currently in use across the globe and what their combined energy consumption amounts to would be the work of a large-scale academic study, and unfortunately no such study has been done.

However, it is possible to scratch the surface of this question with a few key statistics, and this is enough to show how impressively widespread and potentially costly refrigeration is. In 2012, the average running cost of a refrigerator was £23.50 per year . It is safe to assume that the vast majority of the UK’s 25,691,000 households have at least one refrigerator. Discounting increasing energy costs over the last couple of years, this puts to total cost of domestic refrigerators in the UK not far short of £603 million. This is not even touching upon commercial refrigeration, which utilises much larger and more costly devices, and neither does it include freezers. As the UK accounts for less than 1% of the world’s population, the figure for the whole world, including commercial devices, must be astronomically larger.

Keeping This Cost Down

Naturally, homes and businesses alike will be keen to keep their portion of this cost down. One of the key steps that can be taken to do so is simply to be careful with your choice of appliance. When buying a new fridge or freezer, look at the full range from a retailer with comprehensive stock choices such as fridgefreezerdirect and pay particular attention to energy-efficiency ratings. Obviously, a more energy-efficient appliance will cost less to run over the course of each year.

Another step to take is to ensure you do not buy a larger appliance than you really need. Bigger appliances will obviously have higher running costs. They simply have a greater volume of space that they need to keep cool, and this requires more energy. Think carefully about your needs so that you neither buy an appliance that is too small nor spend money cooling unnecessary space.