Different home accessories use varying amounts of electricity, and some of the high-energy offenders may surprise you!
Sometimes even appliances you may consider ‘small’, efficient, or only on for a short time, actually have a large impact on your usage and annual cost, for example:
Electric showers, toasters, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, kettles, TVs… to name a few!
I’ll hold my hands up and say before working in energy this isn’t something that often crossed my mind. But it really does make a difference! So, here’s a handy guide to figuring out how much your appliances cost you, and some tips on how to start saving energy (and money)!
What is an appliance’s power rating and why does it matter?
First, it’s useful to know every electrical appliance has a power rating - this tells you how much electricity it needs to work. It’ll either be in watts or kilowatts (1000 watts = 1 kilowatt). The amount of electricity it actually uses depends on how long you run the appliance for, which is measured in kilowatt-hours.
A good example of this is a fridge/freezer. Generally, they have a low power rating. However since they’re on all the time, over the year this adds up to a considerably large amount of electricity.
On the other hand, you have appliances like an iron - with a high power rating, but which is only used occasionally (note: an iron’s high energy usage would be a great excuse not to iron your shirts… ). Their high power rating can mean the cost adds up quite quickly!
How do I find out where I could be saving money?
If you’re feeling up for it, or are curious to know how much you spend on a specific appliance each day, you can calculate the cost using the below:
Power rating in kilowatts x number of hours used in a day x electricity unit cost (p/kWh)
Let’s say your washing machine has a power rating of 2500 watts, and you use it for 2 hours a day. Your per kWh electricity unit rate is 14p. That’d be:
2.5 (kW) x 2 x 14 = 70p per day. Over a week, that’s £4.90. Over a year, that’s £254.80 - so it definitely adds up! Has the cost of any of your home appliances surprised you?
Sound like too much work? Here are some easy ways to instantly reduce your energy use without the maths!
- When replacing home appliances, look out for their energy efficiency rating. A+, A++ and A+++ rated are best
- When using a kettle, only fill it with the amount of water needed - half the water = half the energy used
- Does your dishwasher have an ‘eco’ setting? This will use less energy by washing at a lower temp, and by using less water
- Set your washing machine to wash at 30 degrees. Clean clothes for less energy!
What other ways have you found to reduce your energy usage and save money around the house? Share your tips below!