According to the Breakthrough Institute, the new research claims that a fridge uses just 322 kWh per year, compared with the 361 kWh for an iPhone, if you include its wireless connections, data usage, and battery charges, Newser.com reported.
But that's nothing compared to information and communications technology worldwide, which uses 10 percent of global electricity-and that's a low estimate.
New trends like wireless broadband could make the figure even higher.
The information sector relies heavily on coal power, and differs from other energy leeches because the cloud is never turned off, making it hard to reduce electricity use and carbon emissions.
The study, sponsored by the coal and mining industry, notes that change is unlikely in the near future.
But the Breakthrough Institute notes we badly need cleaner alternatives.