A fan-assisted oven is more energy efficient as it helps cook at lower temperatures by circulating the air around the food, while electric hobs are more efficient than gas rings. Look for an oven with a triple-glazed door, as this will keep the heat in and cook food quicker.
Microwaves can provide a more energy efficient way to cook your food than in the oven. Unlike ovens, microwaves only heat your food and not the air space inside, which means they use less energy to cook your dinner.
Dishwashers are energy intensive appliances, typically costing between £37 and £48 a year to run. The most efficient dishwashers on the market cost around £7 less to run than lower energy rated versions of the same size, and they use less water.
Fridge and freezer
These are switched on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it’s worth finding models that are energy efficient. As the energy rating is categorised by size, choosing a smaller fridge will use less energy than a larger fridge with the same rating.
Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen – and given that most of us are still working from home due to lockdowns, their usage has risen even more over the past year. Look for ECO kettles, as these only boil the amount of water required and can use 20% less energy than a conventional electric kettle.
Drying your clothes outdoors on a washing line, or indoors on a rack during the winter months, costs nothing and uses no energy, so it’s the best way to dry your clothes. If you do need a tumble dryer, look for one that has a sensor to alert you when your clothes are dry enough. This will prevent you from wasting energy by over drying your laundry.
An energy efficient washing machine will save you money on your energy bill and, if you have a meter, your water bill too. Check the energy rating before buying and try to avoid washing half loads and using high temperatures to maximise your savings.
Computer / laptop
With home working now the new norm, many of us will be sitting in front of a desktop or laptop five days a week. Laptops typically use 85% less electricity over a year than desktop PCs, saving you up to £17 a year.
Large televisions can be particularly power-hungry. The larger the screen, the more energy it will consume, regardless of its energy rating. So, by choosing a smaller TV, you will generally save more energy. After selecting the smallest TV still suitable for your needs, the best ways to save energy are to reduce brightness settings to the lowest acceptable limit and remember to switch off your TV when you’re not using it.
Smart speakers cost around £2-5 a year to run, so aren’t too taxing on your energy bill. Usually they are left on standby, so it’s worth considering whether you need them to stay on 24 hours a day. Our testing of the Amazon Echo and Dot, for example, revealed lower power usage than expected, with only slightly more energy being used when activated by voice from standby.