Future Renewable Smart Efficient

Ever wondered how much your appliances cost to run? Some may shock you

Date: 5/3/2017

The old adage ‘if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves’ is no truer than when you look into your energy usage at home. Some electrical appliances use very little electricity whereas other electrical appliances use a huge amount. Thankfully every electrical appliance has a power rating which tells you how much electricity it needs to work. This is usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW) (1000W = 1kW). Of course, the amount of electricity it uses depends on how long it’s on for, and this is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).


Home appliances will also come with an energy rating. Energy ratings are generally given to products based on their size category. This means that two differently sized appliances with the same energy rating may use quite different amounts of electricity. For instance, an A rated 180-litre fridge freezer could cost only £38 a year to run, whereas a larger 525-litre fridge freezer with a better A+ rating could cost £51 a year to run. It is best to look for the product which has the best energy rating and also matches the size you require. 


A list of household appliances and the power it takes to run them can be found below:




 Immersion heater


 Electric fire


 Oil-filled radiator


 Electric shower




 Washing machine


 Tumble dryer




 Vacuum cleaner


 Towel rail


 Deep fryer














 Extractor fan


 Coffee Machine








 Electric mower


 Electric drill




 Heating blanket


 Plasma TV




 Video, DVD or CD


 TV box


 Games console




 Desktop computer


 Tablet (charge)


 Broadband router


 Smart phone (charge)



From the list above you can see that an electric shower, immersion heater, kettle, tumble dryer and washing machine use the most electricity out of our household appliances.


To put the power it takes to run the appliances into perspective, the cost to run the most popular appliances can be seen below:


Kettle – 5p per boil. If you boil the kettle 3 times a day that is £55 per year

Light Bulb – 0.5p per hour

Electric Cooker - £2.98 per week. Roughly £160 per year

Fridge Freezer – 30p per day. The average family will spend roughly £110 per year

Dishwasher - 12p per wash. Approximately £45 per year 

Washing Machine – 50p per wash

Tumble Dryer - 50p per drying cycle

Immersion Heater - 45p per hour for a standard 3 kWh immersion heater

Iron – 20p per hour. Average family will spend £5 per year to run

PC – 7p per hour. A desktop costs the average family £24 per year

TV – 2p per hour. The average family spends about £70 per year powering their TV

Router - £10 a year


Many will be aware that the biggest chunk of your energy bill will be spent on heating your home. In this country there is no getting away from the fact that you will need to heat your property in the cold winters. Old style systems such as night storage heaters can cost approximately £2000 per year to run. A great way to reduce the cost it takes to heat your property is to update your heating system to a more modern energy efficient heating system, for example far infrared heaters. 


Apart from an expense for running our appliances there is also a cost for when our appliances are on standby. Last year, a report released by the Energy Saving Trust, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) found that the average household was wasting between £50 – £80 of their annual £530 electricity bill by leaving appliances on standby instead of switching them off at the socket. That means the average family is paying around 16% more than they need to – all because they’re powering things they’re not even using. Make sure you’re not one of them by turning off everything you use when you’re finished with it.


A great way of seeing how much electricity you are using is to use an energy monitoring system. They are widely available and cost about £40, some energy suppliers will supply them to you for free. Most energy monitors enable you to view your real-time electricity usage in units of energy used (kWh), cost or carbon emissions. Some have additional features, such as allowing you to set daily electricity usage targets or alarms to alert you when you have used a set amount of electricity. Most energy monitors are made up of three parts: a handheld display, a transmitter and a sensor. You can use the data from an energy monitor to keep on top of how much electricity you're using and seeing which of your appliances are. This means you can also use one to cut your energy bills. 


When monitoring energy usage and seeing how much you are spending and what appliances are using the most electricity, you quickly realise it makes a lot of sense to invest in energy efficient appliances and to generate your own electricity in order to lower the cost of running your home. You cannot get away from using electricity without your quality of life being seriously impacted. A phrase which is very relevant is that you don’t want to be ‘penny wise but pound foolish.’ By investing in energy efficient appliances or generating your own electricity you can significantly reduce the cost to run your home and safeguard you from the ever increasing energy prices. By investing now you will save in the long run. The only way we can get away from paying to run appliances is to generate your own electricity and use what you have generated instead of buying electricity from an energy supplier.