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Households are full of plugged-in appliances, but do you know which ones are sending your electricity bills through the roof?
‘Most people don’t realize how much power their devices are using even when they’re not turned on,’ says Ben Gallizzi, Money.co.uk’s energy expert. ‘Items such as televisions, computers and smart speakers all use a surprising amount of electricity even when they aren’t being actively used.
‘Many of us have had to work from home over the past year and that’s also had an impact with many workers leaving laptops and phone chargers plugged in.’
According to Money.co.uk, common gadgets are costing households up to £500 a year. If you’re looking to slash your energy usage and lower those bills, take a look at the biggest guzzlers below…
It pays to know which appliances in your home are causing your energy bills to skyrocket. While many of us turn our TV’s off when we’re not watching them, the only way to be sure you’re not using power is to switch it off at the wall. As a general rule of thumb, the best policy is to unplug.
Adjusting your day-to-day behaviors can help save money — and lower your electricity bill. According to Money.co.uk, laptops can use around 15p a day worth of electricity which adds up to more than £50 a year – about the same as an average sized TV. Once you’ve finished work for the day, make sure you switch your computer or laptop off at the wall.
As one of the most-used appliances, unplugging your microwave can save around £6 a year in electricity. It’s easy to forget, but being efficient will save you a pretty penny.
4. Phone chargers
‘Millions of us leave our chargers plugged into the wall all the time but every charger will be consuming electricity at all times, whether the phone or tablet is attached or not,’ says Ben.
‘Charging a phone at night can also waste power as the charger uses the same amount even if the phone becomes fully charged. With many families having multiple chargers around the house, switching them off at the wall can save around £30 a year.’
Smart speakers have become a must-have for many households, but how much energy do they really consume? Ben says switching them off at the wall could help to save around £35.
6. Game consoles
Energy bills from game consoles can be eye-watering, with some reaching as high as £200 a year. ‘Our trusty consoles have kept millions of us entertained during lockdown but by leaving them on standby when not in use, gamers are burning energy unnecessarily,’ adds Ben.
7. Set-top boxes
Set-top boxes, also known as cable boxes, are often left on standbys. If they’ve got a lit digital display you can be sure they are using some power. Turning it off at the wall will save just a few pennies a month, but every little helps.
8. Internet routers
According to energy.co.uk, each Internet router uses around £10 a year worth of electricity. Powering it down when you’re away on holiday can save some extra money.
9. Kitchen Appliances
From kettles to coffee machines, do you turn off your kitchen appliances when they’re not in use? ‘Each of these could save around £10 worth of energy each year, and with many modern kitchens now containing numerous gadgets, the savings definitely add up,’ explains Ben.
Fridge freezers need to be plugged in at all times but the best way to save energy for larger appliances, including washing machines and tumble dryers, is to choose a machine with the best efficiency rating. ‘Savvy users can also make serious savings by being mindful of cheaper energy tariffs which may be available by setting timers for off peak times,’ suggests Ben. ‘By managing the energy usage of kitchen appliances carefully it should be possible to save up to £130 a year off energy bills.’
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