Over a 12-year lifespan, you could spend as little as $277 to run a fridge, or as much as $2,898. Which goes to show that purchase price isn’t the only important thing to think about when buying appliances. Running costs can change the calculation completely.
Enervee, an energy efficiency scoring site for appliances, gives one example here (which it calculated last December). The LG LFC25776ST—25 Feet costs $1,799 upfront. But it has a high efficiency score (92/100), and will set you back only $1,048 to operate at New York rates. The similar Whirlpool ED5CHQXVQ has price-tag of $1,399.99. But it has a much lower efficiency score (24/100) and will cost $1,816.92 over its lifetime, according to the site. That’s a difference in electricity costs of $769.
In other words: The fridge that appeared cheaper to start with is actually more expensive. The Whirlpool comes in at $3,216.91 over the 12 years, compared to $2,847.32 for the LG.
Enervee was founded in 2010, and claims to be the first site of its type. It lists hundreds of TVs, fridges, washing machines, and so on, giving efficiency ratings, lifetime costs, and CO2 impact for each. You can plug in your zip code, so you can see the price for your area (3,000 utilities covered). And—in a new feature—you now look up Amazon customer reviews for the item.
"The integration with Amazon means a more educated shopping experience for consumers looking to make smart buying decisions and save money when purchasing appliances or electronics," says co-founder Matthias Kurwig, in a press release.
Amazon doesn’t currently offer much in the way of running cost information, unless you count the occasional Energy Star listing in the "details" section. If you want to get a true picture of how much it’s going to cost, it may be best to go to Enervee, or a site like it, first.