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Blog Post 14 January 2022 Updated 23 May 2024

Top five energy consuming home appliances

Choosing the most energy efficient household appliance can help you save energy and money on your bills. But do you know which common household items are more energy-guzzling than others?

We’ve taken five common types of appliances to give you an idea of how much energy they can use. We’ve also added some tips on how to use them as efficiently as possible to help you reduce your electricity bill.


Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers

Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, making them the most energy thirsty. The power they need to heat the water or air inside them means they use more electricity.

Checking the energy rating of dishwashers can help you save money. For example, an A-rated 12-place dishwasher costs £35 a year to run in Great Britain (GB) and £55 in Northern Ireland (NI).

Compare that to the G-rated equivalent appliance, which costs £65 a year in GB and £105 in NI – that’s almost double!

So, what can you do to reduce this cost? Choosing to wash your clothes at a lower temperature can help reduce your energy use. The same goes for avoiding only washing half loads.

We’ve got more tips in our blog on being energy efficient when using your washing machine.

You can follow similar advice for your dishwasher too. Use its Eco setting if it has one, or a short cycle, and wait until it’s full before running a cycle.

Find out more about choosing energy efficient appliances.


Fridges and freezers

Fridges and freezers account for around 13% of the average household’s energy bill. These appliances need to stay on all the time, so they’re continually using energy to maintain a constant temperature.

They’re also among the longest lasting appliances in our home. The typical fridge-freezer has a lifespan of 17 years. Just think: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 17 years . You can see why choosing an energy-efficient model is a good idea.

It’s important to check the energy label, as energy efficiency is a big factor when it comes to running costs. Take this example:

  • A F-rated 424-litre fridge-freezer costs £70 a year to run in GB and £115 in NI.
  • A G-rated 265-litre fridge-freezer costs £65 a year to run in GB and £105 in NI.

So, despite being significantly bigger, the F-rated fridge-freezer only costs a little more each year to run.

The next time you’re buying a new fridge or freezer, consider the smallest model that meets your needs and has the highest energy efficiency rating you can afford.


TVs, laptops and games consoles

Laptops, TVs, and games consoles might consume relatively small amounts on their own, but consumer electronics account for around 6% of your energy bill.

While switching devices off standby can help you save £40 in GB and £70 in NI, it also pays to check the energy efficiency of models.

Sizing your TV screen appropriately will also have an effect. A 60” F-rated TV costs £35 a year to run in GB and £60 in NI. A smaller 40” F-rated TV costs £19 a year to run in GB and £30 in NI.



Lighting takes up around 5% of an average home’s total energy bill. An obvious energy-saving tip is to switch the lights off when you a leave a room – this will save you £7 in GB and £30 in NI.

But 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 halogen bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £180 and save around £40 a year in GB and £75 in NI.


Ovens, microwaves and kettles

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 generally more efficient than ovens at heating food up, as they only heat the food and not the air space inside.

And try to avoid overfilling the kettle and save yourself £9 a year in GB and £14 in NI on your electricity bill.

What’s the cheapest way of cooking your meals? Our experts have compared how much it costs to use some common cooking appliances

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This blog featured in the May 2024 edition of our Energywire newsletter.

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Last updated: 23 May 2024