The cost of living is at its highest level in a decade, with household energy bills being the largest expense. The recent gas crisis has pushed energy bills up by well over £200 since last winter and they’re expected to rise again in April.
Choosing the most energy efficient household appliance for needs can help you save energy – and money – on your bills, but some common household items are more energy guzzling than others.
Here, we find out which are the biggest users of electricity in the home and offer some tips on how to use them as efficiently as possible to help you reduce your energy bill.
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 that they use 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 you dishwasher: use the Eco setting if it has one and try to wait until it’s full to set it off. We’ve got more tips in our blog on being energy efficient when using your washing machine.
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.
Today, we are far more reliant on consumer electronics – from laptops to TVs to game consoles – so it should come as 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 where possible.
Coming in just behind your electronics, lighting takes up around 6% of an average home’s total energy bill. You can reduce the amount of 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 that 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 when you 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.