The energy experts of Home Tree crunched the numbers and revealed the costs of running your appliances, looking at which ones use the most energy and what you can do for cheaper alternatives.
Dishwasher – £1.12 per 90 minute cycle
The majority of the usage on your energy bills will come from wet appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.
The average dishwasher cycle takes about an hour and a half, but some lower quality dishwashers can last two to four hours. Running a dishwasher is one of the most expensive household appliances, consuming around 3.3 kWh of energy.
It is possible to estimate the energy consumption of each appliance by multiplying its nominal power in kW by the number of minutes/hours of use. Wattage information should be on the label or in any manual that came with your device.
For example, a dishwasher may have a power rating of 2200W (there are 1000W in a kW). If you run it for 90 minutes it uses 3.3kWh which costs around £1.12 for a 90 minute cycle. Here’s how the equation works: 2.2 x 90/60 = 3.3 kWh.
There are options to save on your energy bills, like making sure to only run the dishwasher on a full load and investing in an energy-efficient Class A dishwasher. The good news is that dishwashers dishes are faster and cheaper than washing dishes by hand, which tends to use more water.
Washing machine – 75p cycle per hour
Washing machines and dishwashers account for around 14% of a typical energy bill. On average, a typical washing machine will run for around 45-90 minutes. A washing machine will have a power rating similar to that of a dishwasher, with an average power of 2200W. Typically, however, a washing machine’s run cycle would be shorter, which would cost less per cycle.
On an average 2200W washing machine, the appliance will use around 2.2kWh of energy if it runs for an hour, which will cost around 75p. Again, avoid half loads and go for a Class A energy efficiency rating. Some washing machines will have an eco option, which will use a lower wash and temperature, so less energy is needed for the heating, which will cost you less.
Fridge and Freezer – £3.26 per day
On average, fridges and freezers account for around 13% of your household’s energy bill, according to Energy Saving Trust. The average fridge/freezer will stay on 24/7, with 400 watts of power, using around 9.6 kWh of energy per day.
There aren’t many options when it comes to energy saving, as the nature of a fridge and freezer means they have to be on all day. However, you can invest in a more energy-efficient model. Each household item will have a rating based on its energy efficiency, so look for those with grade A – it will save you money in the long run.
Oven (gas/electric) – 34p per 20 mins
Daily use of your oven can be a real waste of energy, and therefore money. However, if you must use an oven, there are ways to maximize your energy efficiency. For example, avoid storing baking sheets inside the oven during cooking, as they block air circulation. Plus, cleaning your oven regularly helps maintain a more efficient distribution of heat.
The average power of an oven is about 3kW, which means it uses about 1kWh if it runs for about 20 minutes, or about 34p.
A cheaper alternative to an oven would be an air fryer, which is much more energy efficient than most convection ovens because it cooks food much faster. However, they use electricity, which is generally more expensive than gas. Recent research has shown that cooking in an air fryer costs about half the price of cooking in an oven.
An air fryer is similar to an oven in that it cooks and roasts. The main difference, however, is that the heating elements are only located on the top and are accompanied by a large, powerful fan.
The average power of the air fryer is 1 kW, which means that using an air fryer for about 10 minutes would consume up to about 0.16 kWh of energy. It will cost around 5p on average, making it the most affordable way to cook.
Electrical appliances – 10p per hour
From televisions to laptops to game consoles; we depend on consumer electronics more than ever, and these account for around 6% of your energy bills, according to Energy Saving Trust.
A typical 50 inch plasma TV will have a power rating of around 300W and will cost you around 10p per hour to operate, using 0.3kWh. The average laptop with a power rating of 50 will also cost you around 2 pence to use every hour.
There are things you can do to cut costs when watching TV, like turning down the brightness slightly, setting a sleep timer, and turning off the socket switch when not in use.
Energy Saving Trust reports that lighting will cost around 5% of average annual energy. The average bulb will cost you around 2 pence per hour, consuming up to 0.06 kWh of energy. It may not seem like much, but when multiple bulbs are running all day, the numbers add up quickly.
It might sound obvious, but making sure you turn off your light switches when not in use can save you around £25 a year on your energy bills. You can also invest in LED lighting, which is often brighter and more energy efficient. Replacing your incandescent bulb with an LED can save you around £15 per bulb per year.