RefrigeratorsRefrigerators are energy hogs, accounting for 9 to 15 percent of your home's electricity use. Luckily, choosing an energy-efficient refrigerator can be as easy as looking for the Energy Star label, which guarantees the appliance has met government standards. However, all Energy Star appliances are not created equal — energy consumption still varies significantly from model to model. The Energy Star website can help you compare models to find to the most efficient refrigerator.Size matters. If you buy a refrigerator too small for your needs and keep it packed full, the refrigerator will have to work harder and use extra energy. Similarly, oversize refrigerators keep excessive space cool. Refrigerators smaller than 25 cubic feet should meet the needs of most households.Configuration matters too. Consumer Reports measured the usable space
in a refrigerator and found that top freezer models average about 80 percent usable space, bottom freezers average 67 percent and side-by-side units average 63 percent. Know too that side-by-side refrigerators use roughly 20 percent more electricity than other models.Forgo the ice maker and in-door water and ice dispenser. Studies suggest these features can each increase overall refrigerator energy consumption by 10 to 15 percent.Money- and energy-saving tips:Locate your refrigerator away from sources of heat, such as the stove or oven, which can cause it to work harder.Let foods cool first before putting them inside the refrigerator.