Refrigeration Case Study

Over the last 12 months whilst working with local businesses to reduce their energy bills and therefore their carbon footprint, LEG has used plug-in energy monitors to find out how much energy fridges are using in a 24hr period. The data LEG collected is given in the table below.

Energy Use/ 24hr kWh   Estimated annual        electricity use kWh      Estimated annual cost at                                  15p/kWh
 Large open shelved Coca Cola* Fridge                       33 12,045 £1,806.75
Large open shelved IARP fridge                28 10,220 £1,553.00
Large larder fridge, double glazed door 3.7-4.3 1,350 – 1,570 £200-235
Under-counter drinks fridge 3  1,095 £164.25
Large larder Coca Cola* drinks cabinet 4.34 1,584 £237.62
Walls ice-cream freezer 0.65-1.6 235-580 £35 – £90
Large upright Polar Freezer 1.7 621 £93.08

*Ref Technical representative, Customer services, Coca Cola

Commercial fridge manufacturers do not seem to be required to provide this data but as a business you need to know whether you are selling enough goods from the refrigerated unit to justify its existence.  The biggest eye-openers were the open shelved fridge units which, despite having blinds to draw down at night and low energy lighting to illuminate the inside, are still high consumers of electricity. Sometimes these fridges come free full of product from manufacturers like Coca Cola but you still need to do the economic calculations before accepting the fridge. Coca Cola was found to be very helpful as their customer services technical reps can tell you how much electricity on average their units will use which at least enables the rough cost of the unit to be calculated.  This is vital if you are a small business being given a free fridge unit because someone else no longer needs it.

The Carbon Trust produce many Guides relating to resource and energy efficiency which are free to download from their website and are well worth investigating. CTG046 Refrigeration Systems is one of these and can be found here along with helpful energy saving information and several other guides specifically relating to refrigeration.

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