Do wine fridges use a lot of electricity?

Wine fridges are becoming increasingly popular in households around the world and now seem to be almost de rigueur in a modern designer kitchen, but it’s important to understand their energy consumption in this era of expensive energy and what you can do to choose the most energy efficient wine cooler and what you can do throughout the year to improve the efficiency yourself.

Wine fridges are designed to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level to ensure that your wine is stored in optimal conditions for longevity. As a result, wine refrigerators use a lot of energy to keep your wine in the best possible condition. Wine refrigerators are usually equipped with a compressor and fan motor, which are responsible for cooling the air within the refrigerator. The compressor is constantly running, and as it operates it draws energy from the power outlet. To ensure that the temperature and humidity levels remain consistent, the fan motor also needs to be running, which uses energy as well. Because of the complex nature of wine refrigerators, they use a lot more energy than regular refrigerators.

The compressor and fan motor need to be running almost constantly to maintain the desired conditions, and this can add up to a significant amount of energy consumption, however, there are things you can do to reduce the energy the wine fridges uses and they are listed further down this blog.

When shopping for a wine refrigerator, it’s important to consider the energy consumption of the unit. A 'good' rating for energy efficiency of any wine fridge today is anything above an F and most wine fridges, because of the nature of their use, are rated G. It's important to understand that the energy labels are NOT rating wine coolers against one another, but against ALL electrical appliances, this makes shopping for an energy efficient wine fridge more complicated than it should be.

Wine Fridge Energy Efficiency

Which wine fridges are the most energy efficient?

There are two ways to look at energy efficiency with wine fridges, one is, solely the grade of the whole unit (A-G) which will naturally favour smaller wine fridges or, more appropriately, the kilowatts used per bottle per annum if you're maturing fine wine. In general, smaller wine fridges will use less electricity to run over the year, however, if you want to cellar a large number of bottles, then it is more energy efficient to have one large single zone (100 bottles), than two smaller single zones for example (50 bottles each).

The most efficient wine fridges for long term maturation are actually wine cabinets. The large, static temperature, no light wine cabinets from Climadiff and Artevino are the most energy efficient of all our brands. They exist solely to mature fine wine and lack the bells and whistles (LED lighting, multi-zones etc) so use the least electricity.

Dual zone wine fridges are generally the least energy efficient as single zone wine fridges only need to maintain one temperature. However, if you need to keep both red and white at service temperature one large dual zone will be more energy efficient than two smaller single zones.

Another type of freestanding wine fridge that is known for its energy efficiency is the thermoelectric wine fridge. These fridges use a special type of cooling technology that is more efficient than traditional refrigeration systems. This means that the fridge will use less energy to cool your bottles, which can help to save you money on your energy bills.

How much does it cost per year to run a wine fridge?

To calculate the amount of energy a wine fridge uses, you must first consider its size. A small-sized wine fridge uses about 100 kWh of energy per year, while an extra-large model can consume up to 200 kWh. If you’re looking to save on energy costs, you may want to consider a smaller model or, more sensibly, just buying a unit that fits your wine collection. In addition to size, the temperature settings you use also impact the amount of energy a wine fridge uses. For example, if you keep your wine fridge at a colder temperature, it will consume more energy than if you set it to a moderate temperature because the compressor and fans will be working harder against the ambient temperature to meet the set temperature.

If you’re looking to conserve energy, try setting the temperature closer to the ambient room temperature, by every degree you change this setting you will save a few £ per year. It’s also important to note that energy consumption is higher when the wine fridge is first plugged in and turned on so turning the fridge on and off will not help with energy efficiency. During this initial period, the appliance needs to reach the right temperature and this can take up to several hours. Once the wine fridge is up and running, you should see a decrease in energy consumption.

Finally, you should also consider the age of your wine fridge. Newer models are designed to be more energy-efficient than older models, so the most energy efficient wine fridge you can buy is 1) the right size for your wine collection 2) a single zone 3) the latest technology model.

On average, a regular-sized wine fridge consumes around 100 kWh of energy per year, while an extra-large model can consume up to 200 kWh. Investing in a more efficient wine fridge and setting the temperature to a moderate level can help minimize your energy costs.

In monetary terms, a large, dual zone wine fridge in 2024 would cost around £50-£100 per year to run in energy costs, whereas an under counter would cost £30-£65.

Why is electricity so expensive now?

As we move further into the 2020s, electricity prices have been rising steadily, making electricity more and more expensive for consumers. In 2024, the situation is no different despite government efforts to lessen the burden on its citizens, we're all paying up to x3 more for energy since the 2010s. With electricity prices continuing to climb, many people are left wondering why electricity is so expensive. The answer is a combination of factors.

To begin, let’s take a look at some of the biggest costs associated with electricity in 2024. First, electricity production and distribution costs. As the population of the world continues to grow, the demand for electricity increases. This means that utilities must build more power plants and invest in larger transmission lines to meet this growing demand. These investments are expensive and are passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills.

Second, the cost of energy sources. In 2024, the majority of electricity is generated from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. These energy sources are becoming increasingly expensive as global demand for them grows. As a result, electricity bills have been steadily increasing. The impact of the war in Ukraine and Covid has also impacted distribution causing costs to go up.

Third, the cost of renewable energy. Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, have become increasingly popular in recent years. While these sources of energy are becoming more efficient and cost-effective, their implementation still comes at a cost. As more renewable energy sources are added to the grid, electricity prices are affected.

Finally, government regulation and taxes. Governments around the world have implemented various policies to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. These policies have led to increased taxes on electricity, which are then passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills. 

Which wine fridge brands are the most energy efficient?

The most energy efficient dual zone wine fridges we sell come from Liebherr and Swisscave who, despite being exceptionally powerful are both energy efficient and quiet.

The most energy efficient single zone wine cabinets are from Climadiff and Artevino

Are wine coolers expensive to run

What are energy efficiency electronic labels?

Energy efficiency electronic labels, or EEELs, are an important tool for consumers in Europe to help them make informed decisions about the energy efficiency of appliances and electronics. EEELs have been mandatory in the European Union since 2010, and are intended to help consumers identify the energy efficiency of products before they purchase them. This can help consumers save money on their energy bills and make greener choices.

EEELs are designed to provide consumers with information about the energy efficiency of products in an easy-to-understand format. The labels provide a rating of the energy efficiency of a product, along with other information such as energy consumption and noise levels. The labels are usually found on the back or side of the product, and are required to be displayed prominently. The ratings given on the labels are based on the European Union's Energy Label System, which is designed to give consumers a clear understanding of the energy efficiency of products.

From 2010 the ratings used to range from A+++ for the most energy efficient products, to G for the least efficient. From 2021 they range from A-G to make the scale easier to understand. The ratings are based on a number of different factors, including how much energy the product uses, how efficiently it operates, and how much energy it saves. In addition to the energy efficiency ratings, the labels also provide other information to help consumers make informed decisions. This includes the annual energy consumption of the product, the estimated cost of running the product over a year, and other information such as noise levels and standby power consumption. By providing consumers with an easy-to-understand rating system to compare the energy efficiency of products, EEELs help to encourage manufacturers to produce more energy efficient products. This in turn helps to reduce energy consumption, emissions, and costs for consumers.

In addition to the EEELs, the European Union also has a number of other initiatives in place to encourage energy efficiency. This includes the Energy Efficiency Directive, which sets out minimum energy performance standards for a range of products. This ensures that all products sold in the EU meet certain energy efficiency requirements. Overall, EEELs are a powerful tool for consumers to help them make informed decisions about the energy efficiency of products. By providing an easy-to-understand rating system, the labels help to ensure that consumers can make the most energy-efficient choices. This in turn helps to reduce energy consumption, emissions, and costs for consumers.

What can I do to make my wine fridge more energy efficient?

  • Keep it full, it may seem counter-intuitive but the best way to make your wine fridge energy efficient is to full up the internal capacity. The fact that the bottles are AT the right temperature helps the whole unit to stay at temperature. If you have lots of empty space then the fridge has to work harder to heat up or cool down all that space. We even recommend keeping everyday drinking wine in your wine fridge in order to ensure it is full.
  • Keep your wine fridge away from walls and other furniture. Allowing the wine cooler to vent and to expel air as best it can will also ensure it runs more efficiently.
  • Don’t open and close the wine fridge other than when you want to take out a bottle.
  • Turn the lights off inside the unit or have them come on only when opening the door.
  • Keep the wine fridge in a stable ambient environment and out of the heat or extreme cold. Anything that causes the compressor to work will increase the amount of energy used.
  • Set your wine fridge as close to the ambient temperature as you can whilst still working for you wine cooling needs.

What is a thermoelectric wine fridge?

Thermoelectric wine fridges are becoming increasingly popular for wine enthusiasts, as they provide an efficient and convenient way to store different types of wines in the ideal temperature. Whether you are a wine connoisseur or just a casual drinker, a thermoelectric wine fridge can be an invaluable addition to your home. A thermoelectric wine fridge is a refrigeration unit that uses thermoelectric technology to cool your wine.

The technology works by using an electric current to create a temperature difference between two metals. When the electric current is applied, one side of the metal gets hot while the other side gets cold. The cold side is then used to cool your wine. The biggest advantage of a thermoelectric wine fridge is that it is quieter and more energy efficient than traditional fridges. This is because the compressor in traditional fridges has to run constantly to keep the temperature at a consistent level, whereas the thermoelectric technology works only when required. It also uses far less electricity than a traditional fridge, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

Thermoelectric wine fridges come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose one that best fits your needs. They are also available in a range of temperatures, so you can choose a fridge that can store your wines at the optimal temperature. This is especially important for those who want to store different types of wines at different temperatures, as it can help to ensure that they are stored in the best way to preserve their flavour and aroma. When purchasing a thermoelectric wine fridge, it is important to consider a few factors. First, you should make sure that the fridge is equipped with adjustable shelves and temperature settings, so that you can customize it to suit your needs. You should also check the capacity of the fridge, as well as the noise level, to make sure that it won’t be too loud for your home.

Finally, you should read reviews of the fridge before making your purchase, as this can help you get a better idea of its performance. Overall, a thermoelectric wine fridge is a great way to store and enjoy your wines at their optimal temperature. It is quiet and energy efficient, and can be customized to suit your individual needs. 

Sarah newton

Author - Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton has worked in the wine industry for two decades holding senior positions at some of the UK wine industry's leading brands. The MD of Coolersomm, Sarah is WSET certified and our lead wine buyer too.