Home Household appliances Energy crisis: Appliances that could drive up your bills if left on standby

Energy crisis: Appliances that could drive up your bills if left on standby


Fears over the cost of living have households across the country thinking about how they can keep their bills as low as possible.

In the midst of an energy crisis, it’s more important than ever to cut costs as the price of everything rises.

Inflation is at its highest level in 30 years, food prices are rising, energy bills are on the rise and all on top of a proposed National Insurance increase due in April.

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New data now shows how much leaving your daily household items on standby could be costing you every day, reports Wales Online.

Although the numbers may seem small at first, they quickly add up over the year and could end up costing you hundreds of dollars.

Research by electricity and gas supplier Utilita found that the average UK household has 10 appliances plugged in and off, despite being in use.

The worst offenders are unsurprisingly game consoles and televisions, which add a significant chunk to your energy bills by the end of the year.

Additionally, an estimated 30% of UK homes have items on hold that have not been used for a year.

Archie Lasseter, sustainability manager at Utilita, said: “Sleep mode is a real power hog – some items use the same amount of power as when they are on.

“In every household, leaving just one TV on standby can waste up to £16 worth of electricity a year, or £432m for all UK households.”

The seven most expensive devices to leave on standby

Xbox and PlayStation

While fun to play, a games console becomes significantly less fun when you realize how much it could add by the end of the year.

According to Utilita, a Playstation costs 2.41p per hour played and an Xbox 2.22p – this is because they use 130 and 120 watts respectively when in use.

When left on standby, the consoles still use 10 watts, which means that even when not in use, they cost 0.18p per hour. Although seemingly insignificant, this equates to 4.45 pa per day, which equates to £16.24 per year.


These days, it’s very easy for our TVs to go into standby mode without us being able to do much about it. Back then your buttons were on the TV and off meant off, however today the remote tends to only use standby mode,

This means that unless your TV is turned off to the wall, it will probably cost you a pretty penny throughout the year.

Utilita says a TV uses 40 watts of power when in use, but just like consoles, it uses 10 watts when in standby.

That means for five hours of viewing it costs around 3.7p, but even if left untouched all day but on standby you’re still paying 4.45pa per day.

Over the year, this comes to £16.24.

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Our printers have a sneaky habit of sitting out of sight and out of mind unless you need them at a specific time.

Although it’s hidden away and out of order, it may be worth unplugging it, as it’s third on the standby cost list.

Like a television, a printer uses about 40 watts of power when in use, and while still in standby, it continues to consume 4 ways.

At the end of the day, that totals 1.78 pence, which equates to £6.50 a year unnecessarily added to your bills.

baby monitor

It’s universally known that babies are expensive to raise, so make sure you don’t make your life more difficult.

Of course, it is necessary when your baby is sleeping, but when your baby is with you and awake, it can be useful to turn your baby monitor completely off.

On average, a baby monitor consumes around 15 watts of energy when in use and 3 watts in standby. Over a year, that’s an extra £4.87 on your energy bill.


As so many of us transition to working from home/hybrid, our laptops have become an essential part of our daily lives.

Utilita says running a laptop for five hours will cost around 6.95p as the device uses around 75 watts of power.

Make sure your laptop is unplugged when it’s fully charged and shut it down when you’re done, rather than just closing the lid.

While the device will only use around 3 watts of power in sleep mode, leaving it in sleep mode can cost an extra 1.33pa per day, or up to £4.87 over 12 months.

smart speaker

Smart speakers are undeniably handy at home, you can check the time, set alarms, check the weather and stream music.

In use, a smart speaker will only need around 3 watts of power, but in standby that barely changes, dropping to 2 watts.

This means that over the course of the year it can add an extra £3.45 to your bill – and that’s just per speakerphone!

Phone charger

Most of us are guilty of using our sleep to charge our phones, which means they can be charged for longer than necessary.

It’s certainly not the highest cost per year, but a phone will add an extra 32p to your bill, not including the energy you use while charging, so try to think ahead when you find a convenient time to recharge your mobile.

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