How much energy do your home appliances use? Cost guide, and energy saving tips!


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…:zipper_mouth: ). Their high power rating can mean the cost adds up quite quickly!

How do I find out where I could be saving money?

Good question! 
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?:rotating_light:

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!:grinning:


22 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Great theme.

Being a washing machine cycle weirdo I though I have this 15-20 minute quick wash programme which  is beneficial. Use this setting on normal washes, let the cycle run for a minute or 2 until the detergent has dissolved. Press the pause or turn off and let the garments soak and then turn on later…..and complete the cycle.

Nothing like a semi automatic approach with that humaaan touch.

Oddly, I find the ‘Quick Wash’ on my machine to not be ‘that efficient,’ but I guess it depends how much you wash.

My ‘Quick Wash’ is supposed to be 3.5Kg, and uses 0.33 kWh, and 30 litres of water.
My ‘Cold Cottons’ in comparison,  holds 9.0Kg. uses less than 0.45 kWh, and uses 42 litres of water.

So, I tend to do lots of ‘big, slow, washes’ - it takes 2 hours 39 minutes, or 2 hours 44 minutes on ‘Eco’ mode - yes the ‘cold’ wash has an ‘Eco’ mode.

I ‘know,’ or at least, have a fairly ‘educated guess’ that my energy drain is the electric shower installed back in 2013.
I know that it’s either 8.6kWh or 10.8kWh, and as Kate’s showers take about an hour, that’s quite a big hit over the course of a month.

 

Kelvin gram? 
I’ll get mi coat...😜

I’m testing half hourly readings from my SMETS2 smart meter. Apprently appliances on stand-by are costing me about a quarter of my annual elec usage!

Current status: Going around the house, switching off sockets. 

But it does make me think about unnecessary elec usage, and where I can save, which is a good thing. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Great theme.

Being a washing machine cycle weirdo I though I have this 15-20 minute quick wash programme which  is beneficial. Use this setting on normal washes, let the cycle run for a minute or 2 until the detergent has dissolved. Press the pause or turn off and let the garments soak and then turn on later…..and complete the cycle.

Nothing like a semi automatic approach with that humaaan touch.

Like it Strutty, clever thinking 🤪🤪

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Just purchased a “Heat Pump Tumble Dryer”  With A+++ rating. Monitoring its performance right now - anybody with experience of heat pump domestic appliances?  
👍👍

Just purchased a “Heat Pump Tumble Dryer”  With A+++ rating. Monitoring its performance right now - anybody with experience of heat pump domestic appliances?  
👍👍

I’ve had one about two years, but most of my ‘experience’ involves cursing how it manages to turn the bedding into a slightly damp mangled pile, rather than drying it properly - it’s fine with everything else. I’ve ended up taking any sheets out part way through shaking them up and putting them back in to finish.

 

I don't know if the still make them but I bought a couple of ‘energy saver’ extension leads, they work by plugging related appliances into the socket - TV, Blu-Ray player, Soundbar for example - then you link it so that it switches everything on/off with the TVs Remote Control.

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

As has been said you can radically reduce heating costs, whether electric or gas, by putting a jumper on! Central heating is a relatively new thing, although the Romans had it, new in the sense that many people did not have it in the 1960’s. People managed quite well. Plus it was generally colder in the winter months then I believe.

LED bulbs will save a chunk. A 3.5 watt LED bulb for example may produce the same light as a standard 60 watt bulb. But it is using only 5.83% of the electricity your normal bulb uses. Plus they last longer. I went LED throughout several years ago, my power usage dropped, I have not had a bulb fail yet. Spoken too soon no doubt. However, all my bulbs, bar a couple are always on. Except they don’t show it. I use Philips Hue bulbs which are wirelessly controlled. Saying “Hey Siri, good evening” switches them on”. Or “Hey Siri turn outside lights red” and she obliges.The amount of power they use in the “off” position is infinitesimal.  Using a light switch is a rare thing for me. Motion sensors are used in some rooms but my wife does not like the concept of one in the bathroom to bring the lights on at low intensity in the early hours if attending to nature’s wants. But then a motion sensor must be in the right place in the loo!

Timers work, all part of the Hue system and Apple HomeKit.

Tumbler driers, washing machines, dishwashers nearly all have economy settings. Your washing machine does not need to be set to  high temperature to do it’s job.

What PP could look at is an app and the software that detects what device is using power and when. There is one, I think called Smapee, into which you can add devices. For example, you are boiling the kettle. When you switch the kettle on the app shows the surge and the option to add the device is given. In time all your devices get listed so you can see what you are using. PP could perhaps do something like this?
 

What would be more accurate is to have wireless sockets or plugs and when switched on they signal the app or hub. The kettle socket is seen by the software and it can build a record of fhe times used and the cost. PP is not in the business of making wireless plugs but perhaps it can produce an app with software than can read them. Philips Hue produce wireless adaptors already. Although at present care is needed for many such (SmartThings are another type) because a surge in power can blow them or more specifically weld the relay inside. Things like kettles and irons can produce a sudden surge on switch on.

Overall setting up remote systems to function in the background and at your beck and call can produce savings as well as making life easier. My grandkids love one app that using my coloured Hue bulbs produces a very noisy firework display in the house with all bulbs flashing and changing colour and all the sounds to go with it booming out from my speakers, I’ve digressed! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Just purchased a “Heat Pump Tumble Dryer”  With A+++ rating. Monitoring its performance right now - anybody with experience of heat pump domestic appliances?  
👍👍

I’ve had one about two years, but most of my ‘experience’ involves cursing how it manages to turn the bedding into a slightly damp mangled pile, rather than drying it properly - it’s fine with everything else. I’ve ended up taking any sheets out part way through shaking them up and putting them back in to finish.

Thanks for the heads up Gwyndy 👍👍

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Just purchased a “Heat Pump Tumble Dryer”  With A+++ rating. Monitoring its performance right now - anybody with experience of heat pump domestic appliances?  
👍👍

I’ve had one about two years, but most of my ‘experience’ involves cursing how it manages to turn the bedding into a slightly damp mangled pile, rather than drying it properly - it’s fine with everything else. I’ve ended up taking any sheets out part way through shaking them up and putting them back in to finish.

I've got a normal vented dryer, and it always magically puts the sheet and pillow cases inside the duvet cover, even though they are separate when they go in.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

@Gwyndy

I have a similarly magical washer that uses quantum displacement on single socks...

Badge

I'm very happy to give up the ironing Nat!!

Not only saving money but think of the extra time I'll have to do much nicer things.

 

 

Userlevel 4

I work in energy, and very often have people say, I live in a average size 3 bed, 2 adults 2 kids, why are my bills so huge? We only have a TV, 

By the time you go through everything  fridges  chest freezers(big user) games consoles, all the sockets turned on it definatley surprises them.

The lazy spa's are the best lol 

 

My house is super unefficiant, including my 3 kids! 2 currently upstairs with pc on in one room, TV on in another with lights on  & there's me making do with the light from the TV trying to save some pennies some where.

 

I'm very happy to give up the ironing Nat!!

Not only saving money but think of the extra time I'll have to do much nicer things.

Exactly @LUCKY JO, saving energy and having more fun, it’s win win! :laughing:

Actually, it really is possible to avoid ironing and save on energy - after bringing clothes out the washing machine, I always shake/stretch the wrinkles out, and hang them up to dry.
If you make sure the heaviest bit of clothing is at the bottom (e.g hang trouser legs upside down), gravity does its thing, and they dry with hardly any need for ironing :relaxed: .  The only item that doesn’t really work for is shirts! 

By the time you go through everything  fridges  chest freezers(big user) games consoles, all the sockets turned on it definatley surprises them.

The lazy spa's are the best lol 

 

My house is super unefficiant, including my 3 kids! 2 currently upstairs with pc on in one room, TV on in another with lights on  & there's me making do with the light from the TV trying to save some pennies some where.

So true @Mightymidget, it can be surprising when you realise what’s using up the most energy! 

Hmm, yep, a lazy spa would definitely do it!:joy:  

As you noted, a quick way of making (some!) savings could be to make sure the TV’s fully off, instead of on stand-by, and same definitely goes for the games consoles :thumbsup:

If everyone’s got all the lights turned on, @G4RHL gave some great tips on lighting that could see some good savings :grin:

LED bulbs will save a chunk. A 3.5 watt LED bulb for example may produce the same light as a standard 60 watt bulb. But it is using only 5.83% of the electricity your normal bulb uses. Plus they last longer. I went LED throughout several years ago, my power usage dropped, I have not had a bulb fail yet.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

@LUCKY JO handy tip, just don’t iron anything…just crease yourself with laughter to match the clothes...

Disclaimer: I’d rather wade through the drains than iron, it’s the most soul destroying activity known to man (or woman)..your opinion may vary but in this instance it doesn’t count.:robot: ..:electric_plug:

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Agree Woz. Stopped ironing a few years back. It’s gotta be the most tedious task 👎👎👎👎👎👎

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

...and if you resort to wearing more clothes and/or making love you will have sufficient warmth! Indeed you can achieve your exercise target at the same time.

More seriously most of us probably have areas where we may forget to switch things off, lights in the loft, power to the computer during the night, chargers for many things. I have routines set up that will switch off such potential areas of forgetfulness at certain times of the day. My loft lights used to be the worst. My outside cameras need charging every so often. Rather than leave them plugged in all the time I have a routine that switches on the charger once a week but for 2 hours only. All done using the Philips  Hue system.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Agree Woz. Stopped ironing a few years back. It’s gotta be the most tedious task 👎👎👎👎👎👎

Funny thing is I don’t mind ironing, its relaxing and rewarding..got it if off to a fine art. Iron, hang and fold stuff whilst listening to some tunes etc. You’ve got to have ironed crisp sheets v…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he32H-lQo7s

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

Agree Woz. Stopped ironing a few years back. It’s gotta be the most tedious task 👎👎👎👎👎👎

Funny thing is I don’t mind ironing, its relaxing and rewarding..got it if off to a fine art. Iron, hang and fold stuff whilst listening to some tunes etc. You’ve got to have ironed crisp sheets v…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he32H-lQo7s

Or buy shirts that never need ironing and never show any creases!

OMG @Strutt G, Brentford Nylons! Not ‘alf pop pickers!

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