How much electricity does a mini refrigerator use?

Written by cassandra tribe
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How much electricity does a mini refrigerator use?
That Little Appliance Could Cost You Big Bucks (large bills image by Bruce Shippee from

Whether you are a homeowner looking to cut down on your electric bill, or an RV owner looking to find a mini refrigerator that will not overpower your generator, you need to know how much electricity the appliances use before buying. Sometimes it is the smaller appliances that can really eat into your utility budget. Just check out the link in the Resources section to a chart rating the yearly use of kilowatts of some of them to see for yourself. Fortunately, you can find out how much electricity a mini refrigerator uses before you buy and with only an hour or so of research.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pen and paper
  • Internet (if desired)

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  1. 1

    Go to your local appliance store, or go online and find an appliance provider site, and locate the mini refrigerator section.

  2. 2

    Choose several models that meet your budget and size requirements and have the style that you like. Write down their name and catalogue numbers on your piece of paper.

  3. 3

    Find the bright yellow sticker or tag on the appliance that has the words "Energy Guide" printed on it. If you are online, for instance at, you will see this tag included with the picture of the appliance once you select the appliance name and click on it for more information.

  4. 4

    Write down the yearly estimated cost of the appliance and yearly estimated kilowatts per hour usage next to its name and catalogue number on your list.

  5. 5

    Compare the estimates listed for each mini refrigerator you are considering. Remember that these are estimates only and usually have an error rate of +/- 5 per cent, so it could be higher or lower. If you are planning on using the refrigerator infrequently (such as in the case of an RV), divide the yearly estimate by 365 and then by 24 to come up with the per-hour rate. Compare that with your generator output. A good frame of reference to keep in mind is that a regular-sized refrigerator uses about 683 kWh per year if it is run 24 hours a day.

Tips and warnings

  • Give some thought to what you actually use your refrigerator for. You may be better off with a combination of small appliances (freezer, mini refrigerator) than one big unit to help you save money on your electric bill.
  • Don't believe advertised electrical use rates. There is a great deal of leeway with how a manufacturer or store can list an appliance's energy use. Only look at the official yellow tag to find out what the actual energy rating is of an appliance.

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