What appliances are costing you the most to use?
It's April the 1st, and although it might seem like a cruel April's Fool joke, your energy costs have just gone up by an average of 53%!
So what appliances are costing you the most to run? The Energy Saving Trust has done the number crunching, and these are the top five appliances hitting your energy costs.
1. Wet appliances
Washing machines, dishwashers and anything else that uses water are known as wet appliances. These appliances take the top spot in terms of how much energy they use, accounting for 16% of total energy bill costs. The power needed to heat the water pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances. Actively choosing to wash clothes at a lower temperature can help reduce your energy consumption and try to avoid washing half loads to save water. The same advice goes for your dishwasher: use the Eco setting if it has one and try to wait until it’s full to set it off. The Energy Saving Trust has more tips on their blog, being energy efficient when using your washing machine.
The washing machine is one of the most heavily used appliances. A 7kg washing machine used 220 times a year will cost typically between £25 – £35 a year to run. Wet appliances account for nearly 10 per cent of a typical household’s energy bills.
To save money, make sure you aren't running half loads, and if you are, make sure you use the half load setting to conserve water and electricity, and maybe look at the clothes to see if they are actually dirty! If anything like my kids, you may have clothes worn for just an hour or so, popped in the washing bin, and if they don't look dirty or smell dirty, they are probably fine for another wearing session!
If you need to replace your appliance, then look at buying the most energy-efficient model your wallet will allow you to purchase; it will save you money in the long run. Also, if you are buying a new appliance, make sure you are buying through a cashback site to save as much as possible.
Avoid using a tumble dryer for your clothes: dry clothes on racks inside where possible or outside in warmer weather to save £60 a year.
2. Cold appliances
Fridges and freezers also account for around 12% of the average household’s energy bill. By their very nature, these appliances need to stay on all the time, so they’re continually drawing power to maintain a constant temperature. The more products they contain, the harder they have to work to stay cool, so you can save energy by not overloading them. Your fridge should be kept between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius, so if yours doesn’t have a thermometer installed, it’s worth investing in one to ensure it remains at an efficient temperature.
3. Consumer electronics
Today, we are far more reliant on consumer electronics – from laptops to TVs to game consoles – so it should be no surprise that they take third place, accounting for around 7% of your energy bill. Some of the oldest advice remains relevant: remember to turn your devices off standby.
Coming in just behind your electronics, lighting takes up around 6% of an average home’s total energy bill. You can reduce the energy you use by replacing halogen bulbs with LEDs. LEDs come in a range of shades from cool to warm, allowing you to create the lighting effect you want for your home. If the average household replaced all bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £145 and save around £45 a year on bills. Another tip: turn your lights off when you’re not using them or leave a room. This will save you around £14 a year on your annual energy bills.
Are your cooking habits costing you too much in your energy bills? Around 4% of your energy bill is spent on powering kitchen appliances, including the hob, oven, kettle and microwave. Microwaves are more efficient than ovens at cooking, as they only heat the food and not the air space inside. And try to avoid overfilling the kettle and save yourself £8 a year on your electricity bill.
A slow cooker is a great way to save energy. These use much less power than a standard cooker. The other benefit is that by the very nature of cooking low and slow, it means you can buy cheaper cuts of meat, which arent great when cooked quickly, but by cooking for longer, this breaks down the meat, making it more tender, meaning you can get a delicious meal for less money!
An air fryer is also a good investment, as it cooks food faster; plus, as they are much smaller than a traditional oven, you will find that the amount of energy the air fryer uses to cook is considerably less.
Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. But many of us will admit that we at least occasionally boil the kettle with more water than we’re going to use. Avoid overfilling the kettle and save yourself £11 a year on your electricity bill.
You could also consider fitting an aerator onto your existing kitchen tap to reduce the amount of water coming out without affecting how it washes or rinses. An aerator is a small gadget with tiny holes – they attach to the spout of taps and are cheap and easy to install – and could save you £25 a year.
Check out the quick tips page on the Energy saving Trust to see how much you could save on your energy bills.