Home Household items Seven Household Items Drain Your Wallet When You’re Not Using Them

Seven Household Items Drain Your Wallet When You’re Not Using Them


As energy costs rise at an increasingly rapid rate, people across the country are doing everything they can to reduce their electricity consumption.

People are putting on more clothes, waiting longer to turn on the heating, and reducing the use of electrical devices for leisure activities like watching television.

Many people don’t realize that these devices on standby, unless completely turned off, will still cost you money, reports the Manchester Evening News.

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Putting devices to sleep could be more expensive than you think, new data is now showing.

Although the additional costs may seem small, over the course of a year they add up quickly 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

It’s all fun and games until you realize what it’s costing you.

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.


We’ve all done it, all you have to do is press the stop button on the controller and get on with our lives. We don’t think twice about it, but it could cost you a pretty penny.

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.


For many, printers stay plugged in and are only used infrequently.

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

Babies are expensive, but making sure they’re okay doesn’t have to be.

Sure, a baby monitor lets you be in other rooms while your child sleeps, but if your baby is with you, it might be time to turn off that monitor.

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.


Laptops are an essential part of modern life.

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 useful but, unlike their analog cousins, consume a lot of power because they’re always on to some degree.

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

For many Britons, plugging in your phone before bed can be costly as it can take longer to charge 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.