Home Household appliances Cost of living crisis: The worst appliances to leave on standby

Cost of living crisis: The worst appliances to leave on standby


Rising global gas prices mean UK households will face massive energy bills in 2022, exacerbating an already spiraling cost of living crisis that has seen the price of food, fuel, insurance contributions national and mortgage repayments rise as wages stagnate.

The Bank of England has meanwhile warned that inflation is expected to rise from its current level of 5.4% to over 7% this spring, meaning the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon.

The rising cost of household electricity and gas was confirmed earlier this month when Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, announced that the energy price cap, the maximum amount that a utility company can bill an average customer per year, would increase 54% from April 1.

From that date the cap will increase from £1,277 to £1,971 for a household in average use. This means an increase of £693 per year for the average customer. Prepayment meter customers will see an increase of £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has since announced a UK household aid package worth a combined £350 in a bid to ease the ‘sting’ of skyrocketing bills, but for many that simply won’t be enough.

It means many homeowners are desperate for ways to reduce their home energy needs at a time when popular money-saving expert Martin Lewis and price comparison site MoneySupermarket are both warning against change. provider until the market stabilizes.

The BBC, for its part, has suggested a number of measures which together could help cut household bills by £118: lowering the thermostat temperature by one degree (worth £55 a year) , using only LED bulbs (£30), draftproof windows and doors (£25) and running the washing machine or dishwasher once less a week (£8) .

Another fruitful avenue of research is to reduce the number of household appliances that slowly consume energy when idle in standby mode.

Recent research by energy supplier Utilita identified the following seven as the worst culprits of wasting energy in this way:

Game consoles

Daily cost to be on standby: 4.44p

Annual cost: £16.24


Daily cost: 4.44p

Annual cost: £16.24


Daily cost: 1.78 pence

Annual cost: £6.50

baby monitors

Daily cost: 1.33 pence

Annual cost: £4.87


Daily cost: 1.33 pence

Annual cost: £4.87

smart speakers

Daily cost: 1.33 pence

Annual cost: £4.87

Phone chargers

Daily cost: 0.003p

Annual cost: 32p

While these costs are relatively negligible on a day-to-day basis, having one of each plugged in adds an unnecessary £53.91 to your annual bill which could simply be reduced by switching them off when not in use.

“Sleep mode is a real power drain – some items use the same amount of power as when they’re on,” said Archie Lasseter, sustainability manager at Utilita. “In every home, leaving just one TV on standby can waste up to £16 worth of electricity a year, or £432m for all UK households.”

The company also found that 30% of UK homes have at least one device plugged into a standby socket that hasn’t been used for a year or more.