What Is The Cost Of Running Home Appliances?

Whenever a new gadget takes our fancy, we rarely think about how much our brand new toy is going to contribute to our energy bills and the environment. While manufacturers are becoming increasingly committed to producing more environmentally-friendly and efficient appliances, energy bills are still shooting up due to our homes becoming more and more dependent on electricity.

paying the energy bill

So what are some of the household appliances that are the biggest energy guzzlers?

Dishwashers

Convenient, speedy and luxurious, dishwashers are becoming an increasingly visible and valuable fixture in our modern, busy lifestyles. However, that time and convenience comes at a price that goes beyond its RRP. On average, dishwashers add £45 to your annual energy bill. If you want to cut down on your energy usage, but want to own a dishwasher, consider washing up by hand now and then.

Average Power Rating (in watts): 1200-1500W

Fridge Freezers

Despite requiring about 5 times less power, fridge freezers can end up being more expensive than dishwashers. As fridge freezers are one of the few appliances that are in operation all-day, every-day, this means that they require a constant supply of electricity to keep food cool and frozen. Size plays a role in how much it costs to run a fridge freezer. While a low-capacity unit could cost around about £40 per year, a larger capacity appliance can end up costing you over £50 per year.

Average Power Rating: 200-400W

Electric Ovens

While not requiring the the constant supply of a fridge and/or freezer, ovens are massive energy hogs when in use. For example, running a 3000+ watt electric oven for half an hour every day can add £90 to your annual bill. A workaround for those looking to reduce their energy bills is to use your microwave as much as you can. This is because microwaves will only add about £3 to your annual bill if they are used 10 minutes per day.

Average Power Rating: 2000-2500W

Washing Machines and Dryers

With washing machines, power consumption can depend on what function or type of cycle is being used. For example, a heat cycle can require 2000W, a spin requires about 500W and a wash needs just 250W. It is also hard to pin down how much it costs to run a washing machine. A large family will run one or two washes a day; whereas someone living on their own may only use their washing machine once every few days. However, it’s thought that annual running costs can range from just over £10 to around about £50.

Average Power Rating: 1200-3000W

A High Power Rating Is Not Bad

While it can be easy to see a big power rating and think that an appliance isn’t efficient, it’s important to remember that energy efficiency and low power ratings are not analogous. A dishwasher with a power rating of 2000W may not seem energy efficient in comparison to a 1500W dishwasher. However, the higher rated dishwasher may be a better build and able to complete a faster wash cycle than its lower rated counterpart. In this instance, the more powerful dishwasher may end up being more energy efficient. To put it simply, the longer an appliance is on, the more it uses energy. So if a high power consumption unit is on for shorter period than a lower power consumption unit, it may end up using less energy.

How To Keep Appliance Energy Usage Down

There are definitely things you can do to prevent your power-heavy appliances from consuming so much energy and money.

For example, you should always check and make sure that you’re not leaving them on standby as this will be a slow drain. While we may not think appliances in standby will make a major contribution to our bills, due to the power consumption being so low, the reality is very different. The collective amount of time that we leave appliances on standby can add an extra 10% onto our annual energy bill. That’s about £50-100 that we could save every year from simply turning our devices off when we’re done with them!

It can also help to get your appliances regularly checked and maintained by a professional engineer. Getting an annual servicing performed, from the likes of Repair Aid, can not only save you from a future repair call-out at a inopportune time, it can also ensure that your appliances are operating at peak energy efficiency.

Infographic: Energy usage chart (download as PDF)

Energy usage chart

Buying Guides and Advice

What to look for when you’re buying a new kitchen appliance.

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