Small refrigerators vary in their energy efficiency, with some small refrigerator models using as much or more energy than a full-sized model. Small refrigerators typically use more energy in warmer rooms than full-sized refrigerators.
The refrigerator uses around 20 amps and a circuit of 125 volts. A smaller refrigerator needs less power than a larger one. Keep in mind that a large refrigerator needs a ground wire for safety.
Some mini refrigerators are energy efficient, and others are not. The best way to determine whether a mini refrigerator is energy efficient is to look for the Energy Star designation from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The three brands with the most Energy Star-qualified full-size refrigerator models of as of 2015 are General Electric, Frigidaire and Kenmore. The most efficient refrigerators of all certified models are compact refrigerators manufactured by Fisher & Paykel, Marvel and Haier.
Bottom-freezer refrigerator designs are usually less efficient than top-freezer refrigerators of a similar size. However, several models of bottom-freezer refrigerators are certified as energy-efficient appliances by the Energy Star program of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Top-freezer refrigerators are usually more efficient than comparable bottom-freezer refrigerators. Top-freezer designs are also more efficient than side-by-side refrigerators, consuming an estimated 10 to 25 percent less energy than bottom-freezer or side-by-side models.
As of 2015, the Bosch B11CB50SSS/01 is the top ranked ENERGY STAR refrigerator and Liebherr models CS 2060, CS 2061 and CS 2062 rank second. Two models of Fisher & Paykel refrigerators and several Samsung units complete the list.
An ENERGY STAR rating for a refrigerator means that it meets the government guidelines for being an energy efficient device. There is a difference between low energy and ENERGY STAR rated, as the government has specific qualifications that must be met before awarding the ENERGY STAR certification.
Many types of Samsung refrigerators are considered very energy efficient, some ranking highest in their class compared to other brands, such as the Samsung RF261BIAESR. Five out of nine of the top ranking energy efficient refrigerators listed on Energy Star are Samsung models.
A GE Energy Star refrigerator can be bought on the websites for GE Appliances, Best Buy, The Home Depot and Lowe’s. All these sites provide shoppers with a list of GE Energy Star refrigerators, accompanied by their ratings, reviews and prices, as of 2015.