The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the average UK home wastes £30 by leaving electrical items on standby, rather than switching them off at the plug. Newer household items such as broadband routers and modems also use low levels of electricity when they’re not being used, despite being designed to conserve as much energy as possible. A broadband router can cost the consumer around £8 of electricity annually.

Read on to discover which house appliances use the most and least energy and how to choose new electrical items wisely.

What should I think about when buying new appliances?

European Energy labels are required by law and rate products on their energy efficiency, with A as most efficient and G, the least. Appliances are graded on energy consumption in kWh (units of electricity per hour) so you should choose an appliance with the lowest kWh used, as this is the most energy-efficient.


The labels must be displayed on items such as tumble dryers, dishwashers and electric ovens.

Fridges and freezers have additional A+, A++ and A+++ energy ratings.

Which appliances use the most energy?

Whilst small appliances such as kettles and toasters make life more comfortable, they can rack up your electricity bill when you consider how many times they are used in a day.

Based on the UK average electricity tariff for September 2016, the most expensive standard size electrical item to run for a year is a tumble dryer. A 7kg drum can cost £45 to run annually, closely followed by a 14-place dishwasher at around £43. The next most expensive appliances are a washing machine (£39), fridge freezer (£37) and kettle (£31).

Which appliances use the least energy?

20L Microwave ovens and games consoles are among the cheapest appliances to run, both costing £5 or less per year. A standard 2-slice toaster would cost £2.52 to run annually, while a Sony PlayStation would only set you back £1.37.

Electric toothbrushes, children’s night lights, desktop PCs, inkjet printers and mobile phone chargers all cost under £5 to power over a year.

Gas ovens typically cost much less than electric cookers with or without hobs.

How can I monitor what I spend?

Gas and electricity suppliers are responsible for providing and fitting smart meters for everyone in Britain by 2020. Customers will be able to see what they are spending on electricity as they use it, resulting in less consumption. Meter readings are sent automatically to the energy companies.


As well as saving you money by cutting your electricity bill, becoming more energy efficient will also mean fewer fossil fuels are burnt and carbon emissions are decreased, which are linked to climate change.

Always remember to turn things off when you are not using them. As you can see, if electrical items are not turned off at the wall, they still consume power.

Appliances that draw a large amount of current for an extended period of time such as heaters and dryers have a high probability of fire being caused by a hot connection or an overloaded circuit, so ensure you have cover for your kitchen appliances. For more help choosing the right insurance for your appliances, contact our experts on 0844 318 6870.

*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.

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