As we brace for a difficult winter for millions of households who face far higher energy bills than this time last year, many will be looking at ways to make savings.
Bills will rise for many this month even with the Energy Price Guarantee which fixes the price of electricity at 34p per kWh.
And after households were initially reassured that this would last for two years, new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt axed that energy price cap promise and said the average household bill will now only have a limit at £2,500 until April.
Energy saving was already on the agenda over autumn and winter, with even energy price guarantee prices far higher than a year earlier, but now it’s even more essential.
Many know that taking long showers and using a tumble dryer regularly can send monthly costs soaring – but what about other appliances and devices?
Fundamentally, if you can work out how much energy an appliance is using per hour, you can make a decision on where to potentially cut back.
We’ve taken a handful of household appliances and shown you how to work out how much it costs to run per hour.
The energy price cap will fix electricity at 34p per kWh meaning boiling a kettle will cost you about 8.5p
How to work out how much energy your appliance uses
Every appliance has a power rating, usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW) – 1000W = 1kW – which tells you how much electricity needs to work. The amount of electricity it uses depends on how long it’s turned on.
The way to work it out is taking the power rating for your device. In this instance we’ve used the average power rating but it will depend on the exact size and model of the appliance.
Multiply the device’s wattage by the number of hours you use it per day, and divide this number by 1000 to get the daily kilowatt-hour.
Electricity is sold by kWh, which tends to come up as ‘units’ in your bill.
You can work out how much an appliance costs to run by multiplying the device’s wattage by the number of hours you use it per day and then by the cost of electricity.
We’ve crunched some numbers for you to show you how much your devices cost when you run them.
Popular: Sales of air fryers have been soaring in recent months as people turn to them instead of the oven
How much do cooking appliances cost per use?
Air fryers have become incredibly popular thanks to their speed, slow cookers are the choice for some, while many like to zap certain foods in the microwave for speed and ease.
If you use a 1500W air fryer for an average of one hour per day, it will use roughly 1.5 kilowatts of electricity when you use it.
You can then check how much you’re paying for your electricity per kilowatt hour to get a figure – currently, electricity is capped at 34p/kWh (but some on fixed deals may be paying less than that). That would mean one hour of fryer would cost roughly 51p.
For a slow cooker, they can be as low as 200W of power. If you use that for five hours, it would cost 34p, or roughly 7p an hour.
Five minutes’ usage of a typical 800W microwave will use just a few pence of energy.
Meanwhile, the average fan oven uses 2.1 kWh of electricity an hour – meaning around 71p an hour.
The average cost of gas per kWh in the UK is cheaper than electricity, at 10.3p. The average energy usage of a gas hob ring is 1.95 kW per hour – so for half an hour use, you’re talking around 10p.
Other than the hob and oven, the kettle is probably the most used appliance in the kitchen.
If you use a 3000W kettle for an hour a day that means it is using 3kW of electricity and would cost you £1.02 for an hour’s use.
However, most people aren’t boiling a kettle for an hour a time. The average kettle takes five minutes to boil meaning it would cost you 8.5 pence to boil the kettle for a cuppa.
A slice of toast with your tea will add on a few pennies more to your breakfast.
The average wattage of a toaster is 1000W, according to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, meaning five minutes use will cost about 3p.
Often equipment has the wattage displayed – but if in doubt, take a look in the user manual.
|Appliance||Average power rating*||Cost per hour||Cost per 10 minutes|
|Desktop computer||140W||5 p.m||1p|
|Source: The Centre for Sustainable Energy *Average wattage varies depending on your device|
How much do household appliances cost per use?
A washing machine is an indispensable appliance that most of us use several times a week, but how much does it cost?
The average washing machine uses 2100W according to the CSE – so for a two hour cycle this will cost you £1.42, or 71p an hour.
A two hour cycle on a 2500W tumble dryer will cost you around £1.70, or 85p an hour.
If you do two cycles a week that’s £3.40 a week, £13.60 a month and £163.20 a year.
An iron can use as much as 1500W meaning an hour of ironing would cost you 51p. Meanwhile a vacuum cleaner on average uses 900W meaning an hour’s use would set you back 31p.
How efficient are your appliances?
The Centre for Sustainable Energy points out that sometimes a higher-wattage appliance will use less power than one with a lower-wattage because it’s more efficient.
A dishwasher that has a power rating of 2kW may have a higher wattage than a non-energy efficient one. Because it completes the cycle quicker it uses less energy overall.
‘Dont judge the energy efficiency of a device only by its given power rating, particularly if it is controlled with thermostat or operates on a timed cycle,’ says the CSE.
Instead when you’re buying a new appliance have a look at the energy efficiency label. Those rated A or above are the most efficient for their size.
Tumbling: A typical tumble dryer costs 85p an hour to run
How much does it cost to work from home?
Household appliances tend to use much more energy because they are bigger and are used for longer periods of time.
The good news is that our tech and entertainment devices use far less energy, which is good news for those working from home.
A desktop computer uses around 100W, or 0.1 kW, it costs around 3.4p to run for an hour. That means that if your computer is on for 8 hours a day it will cost 27.2p to run for a day’s work.
A laptop uses even less energy – around 50W or 0.05kW according to the CSE meaning it costs 2p per hour to run.
A broadband router uses approximately 10W which means it costs about 1p to use per hour, and 24p a day.
Similarly, using a 5W charger will cost you 1p per hour will cost you less than 1p a day but the costs can pile up in households using lots of tablets and phones. Try to only charge your devices when necessary.
The differences are often small at this level and leaving a router on all day won’t save you much compared to the hassle of turning it off and on everyday.
Sometimes some products can use more energy when powering up so it might prove counterproductive to turn them off and on everyday.
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