Home Household appliances Find out the cost of running your appliances

Find out the cost of running your appliances


With extremely high energy costs, you may be wondering which appliances in your home contribute the most to your monthly bills.

We’ve collected data on the energy use of the most common household appliances, including fridge-freezers, ovens and laundry appliances, so you can find out how much each one costs to run.

Below is all of our average power consumption data, as well as links to our free running cost tools so you can check how much power your specific model is using.

Read on to find out which appliances use the most energy and get tips and tricks on how you can reduce the amount of energy you spend each month.

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The most expensive major appliances to run

Based on our current test data, the table below summarizes the average annual running costs for each major appliance in your home.

Table notes:

  • Prices correct as of October 2022, based on live products on our website at time of publication. Running costs assume an electricity cost of 34 pence per kWh.
  • Fridge freezer figure based on constant use. Remaining device counts based on estimated usage.

Our tests show that condenser dryers are the most expensive appliances to run by quite a margin, costing the average household £170 a year. That’s more than double the amount you can expect to spend if you own a heat pump model.

Heat pump dryers are much more energy efficient and will only cost you around £68 a year.

Next come the American-style fridge-freezers, which will set you back around £146 every year. Standalone and built-in models tend to be smaller and as such are significantly cheaper to run, costing £102 and £91 per year respectively. Fridge-freezers need to be running 24/7 to keep your food fresh and safe, so don’t be tempted to turn them off to save energy.

In the bottom half of our table, the average built-in single electric oven costs £80 a year to run. Your washing machine isn’t far behind – you can expect to spend an average of £77 a year on it.

We’ve also included the cheapest and most expensive devices to run in this table to give you an idea of ​​the range.

How much you can expect to spend will depend partly on the size of your device – a larger device will generally cost more to run – and partly on how efficient it is. But don’t assume that a smaller device will be the better choice from a money-saving standpoint (more on that later).

Our running cost tools have annual running cost data for all of the specific products we have tested in our labs. So if you know which model you have, you can look it up in our tools and get accurate year-to-date running cost data.

Find out how much your appliances are costing you with our running cost calculation tools:

Are you also wondering about your small household appliances? For more on how much your morning cuppa will cost, check out our guide to the best energy saving kettles.

We’ve also looked at the costs of running hair dryers – our guide to buy a new hair dryer Explain.

How to save on your energy bills

Woman setting a washing machine program

If you’re looking to reduce the amount of energy you expend each month, there are several ways to tweak your device usage to help.

  1. Wash your clothes at low temperature it’s better for your wallet (and the planet) if you wash your clothes at 30 degrees.
  2. Stack your dishwasher correctly – rather than washing little and often, it is better to do fewer washes per week and only run full loads.
  3. Dry your clothes on the line – if the weather is nice outside, put your clothes in the garden rather than in the dryer. Consider a heated clothes airer: find out how much a heated clothes airer will cost.
  4. Turn off small appliances in sleep mode – everything consumes power when left on standby, so turning things off at the plug is an easy way to save money.
  5. Wait for food to cool before freezing it – putting hot food in the freezer makes your freezer work harder, so let it cool on the counter beforehand.
  6. Keep appliances clean – regular descaling of your kettle and defrosting of your freezer will allow them to operate with maximum efficiency.

Read our guide to 10 ways to lower your energy bills for other handy tips and tricks on cutting costs at home.

Ultimately, however, there is a limit to what you can do as a consumer. At Which?, in addition to offering consumers advice on reducing their energy use, we are also calling on government and energy companies to do more for consumers as the current energy crisis unfolds.

Rocio Concha, which one? The Director of Policy and Advocacy, says: ‘The chaos and reversals of recent weeks have caused confusion and uncertainty among consumers – who were already facing the worst cost of living crisis in decades. Households across the country will worry about what will happen when government energy support ends in April.

“The government needs to clarify how it will support the most vulnerable financially after April and ensure that, with energy prices remaining incredibly high, consumers do not struggle to make ends meet.”

Learn more about our cost of living campaign appeals.

Tips for buying energy efficient appliances

Couple buying clothes dryer

Specific advice will vary depending on the type of appliance you’re considering buying, but there are some general rules to follow that will help you get your hands on the most eco-friendly option possible.

First, make sure you’re buying a device that’s the right size for your needs. For example, if there are only two of you in your household, it is not necessary to buy a large American-style fridge-freezer. Instead, go for something smaller that won’t require as much power to run. But, as we said before, smaller is not always more economical. If you have a large family and buy a washing machine that’s too small, you’ll just end up running it a lot more often, which costs more in the long run than buying a larger model with capacity for loads. more important.

Some types of appliances are inherently more energy efficient than others, such as heat pump dryers. In some cases, these can be more expensive to purchase, but they are usually worth it in the long run as they will pay for themselves over time.

A surefire way to know that you have chosen one of the most eco-friendly options is to choose one of our Eco Buy products. These are devices that not only score well in our performance tests, but will have the smallest environmental impact of any model we tested in their class.

Products currently carry our Eco Buy recommendation in the following areas:

For more information on what makes an Eco Buy product, visit our story at choose one Which one? Eco-purchase.

Is it cheaper to use electricity at night?

Woman sleeping next to an alarm clock

You’ve probably heard of “off-peak energy” or “hourly rates”. You might be wondering if you could save money by using your devices in the evening or at night rather than during the day.

The type of tariff you are on will determine whether this is true or not. Some energy companies offer cheaper prices during certain off-peak hours (usually between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.) for customers under specific contracts, which means you will pay less for electricity at night than during the day . If you were on one of these tariffs, you would have two different tariffs.

Traditionally, households needed a special hour meter, usually referred to as an Economy 7 meter, to access these options. However, it’s likely that more energy companies will start offering hourly rates to smart meter customers, as these can also show exactly when you’re using energy.

That said, official fire advice means we don’t recommend running electrical appliances such as your washing machine or dishwasher overnight or when you’re not in the house. Anything with a high horsepower or motor is a fire hazard and should not be left unattended.

If you’re buying a new device, our story on how to make big savings with an energy efficient appliance will help minimize your monthly expenses.