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Which Household Appliances Use the Most Electricity in the UK?

Which Household Appliances Use the Most Electricity in the UK?

  2022-10-03         sparksdirect         Advice » Energy Saving Tips

With energy costs in the UK absolutely skyrocketing, many are concerned about energy bills this winter. As we head into the colder months, it could pay to be aware of how much your household appliances are costing you in electricity. This is why we’ve put together a list of household appliances that are using the most electricity in your home.

With the average UK household’s energy bill rising to £2,500 from the first of October, 2022, paying attention to the efficiency of electrical appliances could save you a lot going forward. From the tumble dryer to the refrigerator, it’s not surprising that it's primarily wet, cold, and cooking appliances that are costing us the most when it comes to power.

Ten of the Most Energy Consuming Appliances

Many people aren’t aware exactly which appliances are costing them the bulk of their energy bill, but not to worry, here are ten of the worst offenders for you to keep an eye on.

Based on a study from the Energy Saving Trust, monitoring appliance usage costs in 250 UK homes, we’ve found out the average monthly kWh cost of various key appliances. By taking this data, we’ve found out exactly which appliances are costing you the most. With the average unit price set to 34p/kWh from October 1st 2022, we’ve worked out the ten worst culprits when it comes to costing you electricity in your home.

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do when it comes to making sure you’re not paying any extra this winter and you can boost the efficiency of electrical appliances in your home. From properly using your appliances to effective maintenance, all the way over to investing in new eco models, there are many options when it comes to getting your home more efficient and cheaper to run.

1. Tumble Dryer

Coming in at an average of 52.25 kWh per month, the tumble dryer is easily the worst offender on the list by quite a big margin. This works out as costing you around £19.13 a month. The tumble dryer is the worst culprit when it comes to the efficiency of electrical appliances in the home, and simply keeping an eye on it can make a huge impact.

There are plenty of things you can be doing to get the cost down, most notably, drying your clothes on the line or a drying maiden. Maintaining your tumble dryer can help improve efficiency, make sure you keep an eye on the lint trap and regularly check between loads. There are also more efficient tumble dryer models out there, which with the average dryer lasting between 7 and 12 years, could prove to be a sound investment.

2. Dishwasher

The dishwasher clocks in at 40 kWh per month, which from October 1st will cost you around £13.60. Make sure you’re not doing lots of unnecessary washes!

One of the biggest things you can be doing to get the cost of running your dishwasher down is simply making sure to only do one load a day. It’s tempting to run the dishwasher when it’s only half full, just for convenience, but this is one of the worst things you can be doing in terms of energy efficiency. Make a habit of running it once when you go to bed, as energy is sometimes cheaper at night.

3. Fridge Freezer

The fridge freezer is the next worst energy consumer in your home. Coming in at an average of 35.42 kWh per month and costing you around £12.04 per month, it’s definitely worth thinking about investing in an energy-efficient model.

The fridge freezer is one of the lasting appliances in the home, with the average fridge freezer lasting 17 years. With such a long lifespan, it’s definitely worth looking into more efficient models, no one can afford to be paying extra energy costs for nearly two decades.

There’s plenty you can do to ensure your fridge freezer isn’t costing you extra. Simply making sure you’re never leaving your fridge door open will help, but regularly defrosting is even better. Make sure you’re letting your food cool before freezing as well!

4. Washing Machine

The washing machine comes in next, at 35 kWh per month, costing you around £11.90 on average a month. Don’t worry, we’ve got a couple of tips when it comes to boosting your machine’s efficiency.  

As with the previous wet and cold appliances, washing machines tend to last a long time on average, so it can be well worth investing in a more efficient model. There’s plenty you can be doing as well when it comes to making sure yours isn’t costing you any more than it should be. Make sure you’re washing your clothes at 30 degrees, rather than any hotter. That'll cost you substantially less on a monthly basis.

5. Cooker with Electric Hob

A cooker and electric hob combo typically run at around 26.25 kWh monthly, costing you around £8.93 a month. When it comes to cutting cooking costs, there are plenty of other more efficient options to choose from as well.

With the energy consumption of an oven running high, it’s worth considering other options.  From air fryers to slow cookers, all the way over to the classic microwave, there are plenty of less expensive cooking options to keep costs down in the kitchen. Next time you’re doing some chips or slow roasting some lamb, make sure to break the air fryer or slow cooker out instead!

6. Oven Without Hob

The oven on its own also makes up a substantial chunk of your energy bill. Coming in at 24.16 kWh per month and a cost of around £8.21 a month, once again, it could pay to consider cheaper options, like the microwave or air fryer.

There are also more efficient oven options, such as convection ovens typically costing around 20% less energy, and gas oven efficiency can also make for a less expensive option sometimes, too.

7. Electric Hob

The electric hob on its own also makes up a decent chunk of your overall energy bill coming in at 18.75 kWh per month, costing about £6.38 a month. Once again, options like the air fryer, slow cooker or microwave prove cheaper when it comes to cooking.

There are more efficient less expensive hob options too, such as convection hobs, and even classic gas hobs. These can prove cheaper in the long run, although installing one could be pricey initially. It’s worth bearing in mind that with energy pricing jumping up, now is the time to invest in more efficient appliances in your home, it could save you a bundle over the coming years.

8. Desktop Computer

If you’ve got a desktop computer, especially with more powerful, gaming computers, this could be substantially adding to your energy bill. Coming in at around 14.16 kWh per month, and costing about £4.81 a month, this is a surprising monthly cost, and worth considering if you were thinking about making the jump to a laptop instead. Make sure that you’re not leaving your desktop on standby at night, as this could be costing you unnecessarily.

9. Electric Kettle

The good, old-fashioned electric kettle could well be holding its own position when it comes to your energy bill. Coming in at 13.75 kWh a month, and costing just under a fiver at £4.68, it could be time to invest in a more efficient model.

With plenty of high-efficiency, more up-to-date models on the market, it could be worth looking at getting rid of your older, inefficient kettle and investing in an energy-saving kettle. With features like temperature control (allowing you to boil to a perfect 80 degrees for tea or coffee) or keeping warm technology (keeping it ready to pour for the next cup), eco-kettles can help you cut energy costs.

10. Refrigerator

Lastly, there’s the refrigerator on its own. Clocking in at 13.33 kWh a month, and costing around £4.53 a month, the standalone refrigerator makes a substantial addition to everyone’s energy bill.

Once again, there are a few things you can be doing to make sure you’re not wasting power, including making sure you’re never leaving the fridge door open and letting food cool before putting it away inside.

In terms of maintenance, you should be regularly checking for ice build-up at the back of your fridge, making sure to defrost regularly. There are plenty of high-efficiency, eco fridge models out there as well, and as one of the longest-lived appliances in any home, it’s worth investing in a good, efficient model.

Here are the top 10 worst offenders when it comes to your energy bill.

ApplianceAverage Monthly Consumption kWh/monthAverage Monthly Cost at 34p/kWh
Tumble Dryer56.25£19.13
Fridge Freezer35.42£12.04
Washing Machine35£11.90
Cooker with Electric Hob26.25£8.93
Oven without Hob24.16£8.21
Electric Hob18.75£6.38
Desktop Computer14.16£4.81
Electric Kettle13.75£4.68

Finding out which household appliances are costing you the most electricity in the UK is just the start. When it comes to making sure our energy bills are coming in as low as possible, there’s plenty we can be doing, and the easiest thing is going to be simply using our most costly appliances in an efficient manner. When it comes to bang-for-buck, these five tips will help you get a handle on your monthly bill.

  1. Hang your clothes up to dry, either on the line outside or on a drying rack. This can be slower than the tumble dryer, but it’ll definitely help you save substantially on your energy bill.

  2. Don’t do small loads in your dishwasher, make sure it’s always completely full, and only do one load daily.

  3. Regularly defrost your fridge freezer and only keep cold food in.

  4. Wash your clothes at a lower temperature, making sure to keep it to thirty degrees.

  5. Turn off all devices left on standby at the plug socket.

Keeping your energy bill low doesn’t have to be tricky! Stick to the above tips and stay on top of growing energy costs.