Original Article

Energy Efficiency

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 135-162

First online:

Energy use of US residential refrigerators and freezers: function derivation based on household and climate characteristics

  • Jeffery GreenblattAffiliated withEnvironmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Email author 
  • , Asa HopkinsAffiliated withEnvironmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryVermont Department of Public Service
  • , Virginie LetschertAffiliated withEnvironmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • , Michael BlasnikAffiliated withBlasnik Consulting

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Field-metered energy use data for 1,467 refrigerators and 185 freezers from seven studies conducted between 1992 and 2010 were used to calculate usage adjustment factors (UAFs), defined as the ratio of measured to tested annual energy use. Multiple regressions of UAFs against several household and climate variables were then performed to obtain separate predictive functions for primary (most-used) refrigerators, secondary (second most-used) refrigerators, and freezers, and residual differences between observed and modeled UAFs were fit to log normal distributions. These UAF functions were used to project energy use in the more than 4,000 households in the 2005 Residential Energy Consumption Survey, a statistical representation of US homes. These energy use projections formed the basis of calculating lifecycle energy savings for more efficient refrigerators and freezers, as well as national energy and cost savings. Results were compared with previous published work by the Department of Energy, demonstrating how UAFs impact energy and cost savings. Such an approach could be further improved with additional data and adapted for other appliances in future analyses.


Refrigerator Field metering Usage adjustment factor (UAF)