In 2014, UK households had an average of 41 electrical appliances each, according to a government report. Of course, that was eight years ago now – before lockdown fueled the purchase of home exercise equipment, and before we improved our work from home facilities.
Energy price cap rose 54% in April, driving up household energy bills at £1,971 per year for default tariffs – many households have been forced to take a closer look at appliances that increase our energy bills.
Besides the more obvious offenders – large appliances like washing machines, dryers, refrigerators and ovens – here are some of the other electrical products you might want to watch out for.
Game consoles and televisions
“In general, games consoles, treadmills and internet-connected devices are the worst offenders,” says real estate expert Jonathan Rolande, who founded House Buy Quickly and represents the National Association of Property Buyers.
Video games have exploded in popularity since the pandemic, with game console sales skyrocketing. sony reported that PlayStation 5 console sales were almost 10 times higher when it was released in 2020 than when the PlayStation 4 launched in 2013. Over 10 million PlayStation 5 consoles were sold in 2021, and the company now has more than 116.4 million users globally.
Unfortunately, game consoles are one of the most expensive devices to run in terms of power consumption. Playing for an hour every day will cost £20.55 a year – and just leaving the PlayStation plugged in and connected will add £7.85 a year, according to PlayStation. The figures.
It also doesn’t include the cost of running your TV, which also adds up. The medium 55 inch television, for example, it would cost £7.87 a year to run if watched for an hour a day, plus £3.43 just to be on standby.
Besides spending less time on it, your best bet is to disconnect your game consoles from the internet and turn them off when not in use.
Ava Kelly from Love the energy savings explains: “Each time a device is left on standby, a small amount of electricity is used. This will add up over the course of a year, so get into the habit of shutting yourself off the wall and watching your bills drop accordingly.
“Laptops can be one of the biggest sources of energy consumption in a home,” Kelly says. “It’s important to remember to turn off the wall and properly shut down your laptop.”
The energy consumption of a laptop computer depends on many factors, from its use to the size of your screen and its brightness. If a laptop uses an average of 32.5 watts of power, it will cost £17.75 per year to use it for full-time work (37.5 hours per week).
However, leaving it in sleep mode the rest of the time will also cost £3.37 a year, running at 2 watts.
When gyms closed during the lockdown, it caused a surge in sales of fitness equipment. of the peloton annual revenuefor example, grew from $915m (£745m) in 2019 to over $4bn (£3.26bn) in 2021, with more subscribers than ever before.
But these Peloton bikes, rowing machines and treadmills have an impact on energy consumption. In standby, a Peloton Bike + will still use 1.9 watts electricity, totaling £4.66 a year if left that way all the time. Even with the bike off but plugged in, you’ll be spending close to a pound a year.
Treadmills are even more greedy, using 600-700 watts of power on average — the equivalent of £33,215 a year if used three and a half hours a week.
“To keep costs down, go for a run or bike ride outside rather than on a treadmill or stationary bike at home, if possible. Otherwise, opt for home exercise equipment that doesn’t need to be hip, like hand-powered bicycles and treadmills,” says Kelly.
“Blenders can use a lot of energy, as anyone who’s watched their smart meter while making a smoothie will know,” Kelly says.
Fortunately, powerful mixers do not need to be used for long. A 1200 watt blender like a NutriBullet, for example, would cost £2.45 a year if used for one minute a day.
“If you use your blender every day to make a smoothie for breakfast, for example, make enough for a few days and store the smoothie in the fridge. This way you reduce the number of times you operate the device and reduce wasted energy,” says Kelly.
Kettles and coffee machines
Kettles are notorious energy consumers. A kettle running at maximum power (usually around 3000 watts) costs 84 pence per hour to boil. That works out to £25.47 a year, if used for five minutes a day.
Basically, the more liquid a kettle holds, the longer it will take to boil – and the more expensive it will be.
Rolande’s advice is simple: “Don’t overfill and descale to save money. Same with a coffee machine.
Coffee machines are relatively cheaper to operate because they only boil the amount of water needed. A Nespresso De’Longhi Expert espresso machine, for example, can consume an average of 1,260 watts for the 30 seconds it takes to brew a coffee, costing just £1.07 a year if you drink a coffee a day.
The combined effect
These costs may seem small, but they add up. Rolande says: “Individually unnecessary items may only cost a penny or two more a day than they should – but multiply all those days by the number of devices and very quickly you’ll be wasting a big fat amount of money.”
Combined, for example, the Energy saving trust estimates that the average UK household spends £55 a year to power appliances on standby.
How to reduce costs? “Obviously the best solution is just not to use them,” says Rolande.
“Failing that, unplug it after use to reduce standby costs. Use them during off-peak hours when electricity is generally cheaper. Do not connect to the Internet unless it is vital. Buy a meter display to show you real-time usage and cost – it focuses your mind when you see pounds per hour used.
When purchasing new electronic devices, Rolande also advises customers to consult the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which shows their energy efficiency.