Knowledge Centre – Passive Strategies




Star labeling program for Refrigerator by BEE

Refrigerators account for a significant fraction of annual energy use, especially in residential buildings. While there are a few solar refrigerators available in select markets, the vast majority of refrigerators run on conventional energy. Based on the method of circulating cooling and defrosting, there are two major types of refrigerators in the market, Direct Cool and Frost Free.

Direct Cool Refrigerators

These refrigerators work on the principle of natural convection. They need manual defrosting periodically. The Direct Cool refrigerators are usually much less expensive than the frost free versions.

Frost Free Refrigerators

These refrigerators work on a direct cooling system. There is a continuous air movement internally that hampers frost formation. A small heating element is placed inside these refrigerators which melts the ice formation. This does not interfere with the normal cooling cycle.

From January 2010, The BEE Star label for Frost free refrigerators has been made mandatory whereas the star label for Direct cool refrigerators is under the voluntary stage.

Table:  Energy and Cost Saving for 250 liters Frost Free Refrigerator with different Star Ratings

Star Rating Energy Consumption / Year(approx.) Per Unit Charge (approx.) Electricity Cost/ Year Total Savings (w.r.t No Star Every Year) Refrigerator Cost(approx.) Cost Difference Pay Back Period
Units kwh Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs. Years
No Star 1100 2.50 2750 0 14000 0 0
1 Star 977 2.50 2443 380 15000 1000 3.25
2 Star 7820 2.50 1995 795 15500 1500 1.89
3 Star 626 2.50 1565 1185 16500 2500 2.11
4 Star 501 2.50 1253 1498 17500 3500 2.34
5 Star 400 2.50 1000 1750 18500 4500 2.57

Source: Bureau of Energy Efficiency


  • The placement of the refrigerator should be at-least at a distance of 100 mm from the walls to ensure effective heat rejection.
  • The refrigerator should be kept away from all sources of heat
  • The refrigerator door should not be kept open for longer periods as this leads to increased electricity consumption.
  • The condenser coils of the refrigerator need to be cleaned frequently
  • In the manual defrost refrigerator, defrosting should be done on a regular basis to ensure smooth running.