Energy Costs & Household Appliances
Energy costs and household appliances
Energy bills have increased dramatically and look to increase further, making them one of the biggest expenses households face.
Nevertheless, many household appliances are indispensable so it’s worth considering how careful selection and use of them can help save money. Although essential electrical appliances use varying amounts of energy, this can be minimised by using them at optimum efficiency.
The way people cook can affect energy consumption. Kitchen appliances such as ovens, hobs, microwaves and kettles take up approximately 4% of the energy bill. Heating more water than required in a kettle uses electricity pointlessly as the unused water will simply cool and then cost all over again to be reheated next time. Because microwaves only heat the food being cooked and not the surrounding air like a standard oven, they use less energy, more efficiently, and more cheaply.
Lighting accounts for approximately 5% of the average home’s energy bill. Halogen bulbs have an annual running cost around 5.5 times greater than LED bulbs so using LEDs is significantly more energy efficient. Though the initial outlay may be more, the longevity of LEDs compared with halogens makes them cost effective over time. Remembering to switch lights off when they are not in use will save money as well.
Nowadays, consumer electronics are ubiquitous from TVs and computers, to phones, to games consoles to any number of other devices and they account for around 6%of a household energy bill. While it may seem like a little thing, not leaving unused devices on standby makes a difference.
Approximately 13% of an average household’s energy bill is down to fridges and freezers. Because they are switched on 24/7 to maintain their constant, cold temperatures, they use energy 24/7 too. As they tend to last for many years, when the time comes to invest in a new one, the smallest viable fridge or freezer with the highest energy ratings will be the most efficient. Obviously, this choice is informed by the budget available but due to their longevity, a more expensive initial outlay may be the most cost-effective over time.
When added together, tumble driers, dishwashers and washing machines take up around 14% of a typical energy bill. This is because a lot of energy is consumed to heat up the water they use or remove. If tumble drying cannot be avoided, using the most appropriate setting for the clothes, for less time, and letting them air inside to dry off completely will use less energy.
Similarly, making sure that dishwashers and washing machines are full and running them a lower temperatures is more energy efficient than washing small loads at higher temperatures. Some washing machines and dishwashers even have dedicated eco settings.
Generally, when it’s time for a new appliance, researching and choosing the smallest viable for requirements and most energy efficient for the budget available will save on running costs and energy bills.
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