The cost of living crisis has us all wondering how we can save money on our energy bills. The Energy Price Guarantee means a typical household’s dual energy bill will be approximately £2,500 - which could increase to as much as £3,100 next year.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement on Thursday is expected to focus on energy costs. Even though a £400 Energy Support Grant is being paid to most households to help, along with additional payments for low-income households, rocketing prices mean that even middle-income households are taking a hit.
Energy experts at Hometree have crunched the numbers and revealed the costs of running your home appliances, by looking at which ones use the most energy, and what you can do for cheaper alternatives.
Dishwasher - £1.12 per 90 minute cycle
The majority usage on your energy bills will come from the wet household appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines. The average dishwasher cycle lasts around an hour and a half, but some lower quality ones can run from two to four hours.
Running a dishwasher is one of the most expensive household appliances, using around 3.3 kWh of energy. It’s possible to estimate how much energy each appliance uses by multiplying its power rating in kW by the number of minutes/hours it’s left on.
Wattage information should be on the label or in any manual that comes with your appliance. For example, a dishwasher may have a power rating of 2200W (there are 1000W in a kW). If you run it for 90 minutes it uses 3.3 kWh, costing around £1.12 for a 90 minute cycle.
There are options for saving on your energy bills, such as making sure to only run the dishwasher when fully loaded, and investing in a grade A energy-efficient dishwasher. The good news is that dishwashers are more time efficient, and cheaper than washing dishes by hand, which tends to use more water.
Washing Machine - 75p per hour cycle
Washing machines and dishwashers account for around14% of a typical energy bill. On average, a typical washing machine will run from around 45 to 90 minutes.
A washing machine will have a similar power rating to a dishwasher, with an average rating of 2200W.
Typically, though, the running cycle for a washing machine would be shorter, therefore costing less per cycle. On an average 2200W washing machine, the appliance will use about 2.2kWh of energy if running for an hour, which will cost around 75p.
Again, you should avoid half-loads and opt for a grade A energy-efficiency rating. Some washing machines will have an eco-friendly option, which will use a lower wash and temperature, so less energy is required for heating, therefore costing you less.
Fridge and freezer - £3.26 per day
On average, fridges and freezers will account for around13% of your household’s energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust. The average fridge/freezer will stay on 24/7, with a Wattage of 400, using around 9.6 kWh of energy per day.
There aren’t many options in terms of energy saving, as the nature of a fridge and freezer means they have to stay on all day. But you can invest in a more energy-efficient one. Every household item will have a grading based on how energy-efficient they are, so look for the ones with Grade A - this will save you money in the long run.
Oven - 34p per 20 minutes
Using your oven every day can be a real drain on power, and therefore finances. However, if you do have to use an oven, there are ways to maximise your energy-efficiency.
For example, refrain from storing baking trays inside the oven when cooking, as they block the airflow. Also, cleaning your oven regularly helps maintain more effective heat distribution.
The average wattage of an oven is around 3kW, meaning it uses around 1kwh if run for around 20 minutes, which is about 34p. A cheaper alternative to an oven would be an air fryer, which is much more energy-efficient than most convection ovens because they cook food much faster.
However, they do use electricity, which is typically more expensive than gas. Recent research has shown that cooking in an air fryer costs about half the price of cooking in an oven. An air fryer is similar to an oven in the sense that it bakes and roasts. The main difference is that the heating elements are only located on the top and are accompanied by a large, powerful fan.
The average air fryer wattage is 1kW, meaning that using an air fryer for around ten minutes would use up to around 0.16kWh of energy. This will cost around 5p on average, making it the most affordable way to cook.
Electrical appliances - 10p per hour
From TVs to laptops to game consoles; we are more reliant on consumer electronics than ever, and these take up around 6% of your energy bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust. A typical 50-inch plasma TV will have a power rating of around 300W, and cost you around 10p an hour to use, using 0.3 kWh. The average laptop with a wattage rating of 50 will also cost you around 2p to use every hour.
There are things you can do to cut costs when watching TV, such as turning the brightness down slightly, setting a sleep timer, and turning off the plug switch when not in use.
Lighting - 2p per hour
The Energy Saving Trust reports that lighting will cost around 5% of the average yearly energy bull. The average lightbulb will cost you around 2p per hour, using up 0.06 kWh of energy.
This may not seem like much, but when you have several lightbulbs running all day, the numbers soon add up. It may seem obvious, but making sure to turn your light switches off when not in use can save around £25 a year in energy bills. You can also invest in LED lighting, which is often brighter and more energy efficient. Switching out your incandescent bulb for LED can save you around £15 per light bulb per year.