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If your energy bills are consistently higher than you’d like, not turning off common appliances and gadgets just might be to blame. While no single device increases your energy bill on its own, collectively they can add £ 500 to your annual energy expenditure.
You might have the best washing machine or the latest smart technology, but how much is it costing you when you’re not using it? Money.co.uk ‘Energy expert Ben Gallizzi said almost all UK homes burn energy unnecessarily because appliances are on even when not in use.
“Most people don’t realize how much power their devices are using, even when they’re not on. Items like televisions, computers and smart speakers all consume a surprising amount of electricity, even when not in active use, ”he explains.
These are the most common devices that you probably forget to turn off – and how much they’re costing you.
Household items that you forget to turn off
Almost everyone now has a flat screen TV with many homes containing multiple large screens. They’re great for watching movies or playing football, but the larger the screen the more power the set will consume, with a typical LCD screen using around £ 50 of power each year.
Many modern TVs don’t even have an off button and are left on standby at all times. Although televisions are much more energy efficient than before, the only way to ensure that you are not using electricity when the television is not in use is to turn it off on the wall.
2. Laptops / PCs
With millions of us working from home during the pandemic, there have likely been more laptops and PCs plugged into our homes than ever before. The bad news is that just shutting off your laptop screen at the end of the workday doesn’t stop it from consuming power.
Laptops can consume around 15p per day of electricity, which works out to over £ 50 per year, which is about as much as an average-sized TV. Even if the computer is turned off, it can still consume power. Again, the only way to be sure it isn’t consuming power is to turn it off on the wall.
Millions of kitchens across the UK include a microwave with a display that is lit up all day and night. But when the screen is on, you know it’s consuming power.
In fact, microwaves probably have one of the smallest use-to-standby time ratios of all of our common gadgets. Most are only used for a few minutes a day at most, but stay on standby 24/7. Turning them off on the wall when not in use can save around £ 6 per year in electricity.
4. Phone chargers
Millions of us leave our chargers plugged into the wall all the time, but each charger will consume electricity at all times, whether the phone or tablet is connected or not. Charging a phone at night can also waste power because the charger uses the same amount even if the phone is fully charged.
With many families having multiple chargers in the house, turning them off at the wall can save around £ 30 per year.
5. Smart speakers
Our homes are increasingly connected, with many homes now having more than one smart speaker. However, even a smart speaker, a speaker that hasn’t been properly turned off is costing you money. By turning them off on the wall when we’re not using them, we can save around £ 35 per year.
6. Game consoles
It is a big problem for the power consumption. Game consoles entertained millions of us during the lockdown, but by leaving them to sleep when not in use gamers are consuming power unnecessarily. If you have multiple consoles, the energy bill can be sky-high, with estimates reaching up to £ 200 per year.
7. Internet routers
Few of us could survive without our wifi networks these days, but do we need to have our router plugged in 24 hours a day? Each router uses around £ 10 a year of electricity every year, so turning it off when we’re out of the house or on vacation can save money.
8. Kitchen appliances
When it comes to turning off our gadgets, many people ignore the technology in their kitchen. Even the best fridge freezers should be plugged in at all times, there are several other items in the kitchen that can be turned off on the wall when not in use.
Dishwashers are often left on standby all day but are only used once a day. Other gadgets like toasters, kettles, and coffee machines can all consume electricity if left plugged in when not in use. Each of these could save around £ 10 of energy each year, and with many modern kitchens now packed with a lot of gadgets, the savings definitely add up.
For large household appliances such as washing machines, dryers, and fridge-freezers, the best way to save energy is to choose a machine with the best efficiency and, if possible, turn it off. on the wall when not needed.
Sophisticated users can also achieve serious savings by factoring in the cheaper energy tariffs that may be available by setting timers for off-peak hours. By carefully managing the energy consumption of kitchen appliances, it should be possible to save up to £ 130 per year on energy bills.