Mini Fridge Power Consumption

How much electricity does a mini fridge use?

It's convenient to have a mini-fridge to store a few beers or sodas in the television room. But be warned, many of the smaller fridges consume almost as much power as full-size fridges. Make sure to check the annual mini fridge power consumption before buying. The yellow Energy Guide label will provide the necessary information.

How Much Electricity Does a Mini-Fridge Use?

I've not had the opportunity to test one directly, but instead looked at the mini fridge wattage reported for several models by Energy Star. These high efficiency mini fridges used about 250 KWH. Most I saw available for sale online were over 300 KWH per year. In general, a 1.7 cubic foot mini fridge will cost around $100.

Mini-Fridge Cubic Ft KWH/Year Cost/Year (at $0.10 KWH)
Haier ECR17 1.7 252 $25.20
Black & Decker BCEA17 1.7 252 $25.20
WELLINGTON W1WF17 1.7 247 $25.20
Midea 4135193 1.7 247 $25.20

To answer the question How Much Electricity Does a Mini-Fridge Use you need to find the yellow Energy Guide label on the fridge. You can either go to a store where they sell fridges or find it online. Currently Sam's Club includes this information on their website (you have to click on the picture of the fridge to see all the photos, including one of the Energy Guide label).

Comparing Mini Fridge Power Consumption to a Standard Fridge

Mini fridges use more electricity than standard fridges per cubic foot of space. There are a few reasons for this.

  • There is less room for insulation.
  • They have more surface area per cubic foot of storage and are therefore exposed to more heat. As a result, it takes more electricity to keep them cool.

If you compare the mini fridge wattage above to our 18.2 ft cubic foot fridge (424 KWH/year) you can see that you'll be using 148.2KWH per cubic foot for the mini fridge. For our 18.2 cubic ft kitchen fridge we're paying 23.3KWH per cubic foot. That's a pretty big difference in efficiency. Note that the systems here are high efficiency fridges.

Another consideration to note is that less efficient fridges don't stay cool as long when the power goes out. If the power goes out your food won't last as long in a mini-fridge (so don't open the door).