Energy Usage and Savings Tips

Energy usage EXPLAINED:

From boiling a kettle to charging your phone overnight, see how much energy your daily habits use

Even with the Energy Price Guarantee, bills are still going to rise for a lot of households this month – so many of us are looking to cut our energy use.

In the wake of April’s price hike, research by Smart Energy GB found that 28% of British people say they had tried to reduce their energy use.

The Energy Price Guarantee will fix electricity at 34p per kWh.

A kilowatt-hour is a way of measuring the amount of energy you have used: equivalent to running a one-kilowatt appliance for an hour.

So, for example, running a 1.2 kilowatt dishwasher for two hours will use 2.4 kilowatt-hours, which comes out at 81.6p under the Energy Price Guarantee.

So which appliances use the most power in your home? Below, we’ve listed some of the worst offenders in the average home, along with tips on how to cut your bills.

The information is based on average power for home appliances from consultancy Carbon Footprint, plus manufacturer information. Exact usage depends on the specific model you use.

With a smart meter you can see exactly how much you’re spending on your own appliances using your in home display (IHD).

How much does a cup of tea cost?

Boiling an average kettle uses 0.11kwh per use, according to Carbon Footprint, if you’re heating one litre of water: under the Energy Price Guarantee, each boil costs 3p.

That adds up if you keep boiling the kettle repeatedly throughout the day. To save energy, don’t overfill your kettle, just boil the water you need.

How much does it cost to roast a chicken?

Roasting a chicken in a 2100W electric oven can cost up to £1.07.

There’s not much you can do to change the amount of time it takes to cook a chicken, but you can reduce energy bills by batch-cooking meals and microwaving portions when you need to.

How much do my phone chargers cost me?

Most of us habitually put our phones on charge when we go to bed, get to the office and arrive home – but the costs add up.

Charging a phone on a 10 watt charger for two hours per day will cost £2.48 per year, with negligible costs to keep the charger on while the phone is already full.

But this cost can pile up, especially in households with lots of tablets, phones and other gizmos, so it’s always best to only charge when you need to.

How much does a load of washing cost?

Your tumble dryer and dishwasher are likely to be among the most energy-hungry devices in your home, around 14% of your energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Washing a typical 2kg load of clothes uses 0.63kwh, while tumble drying them afterwards uses 2.5kwh – it comes out at just under 22p for the washing, plus 85p for drying, £1.07p per load.

A family that does five loads of washing per week could end up paying more than £278 a year.

Always ensure the machines are full before using, and switch both machines to the ‘eco’ setting: this typically takes longer, but uses cooler water and far less power.


Some Energy-Saving Tips

Use heavy, lined curtains – and shut doors

In a typical household, half the energy bill goes on heating and hot water. Heavy, lined curtains are very effective at keeping out draughts – as are draught excluders.

If you’re not using a room, ensure the door is shut, and turn the heaters down either at the valve or via a thermostat.

Never pay to heat rooms you don’t need to.

Use a smart meter

A smart meter helps you stay on top of how much energy you are spending – and ensures there are no ‘surprise’ bills after periods of high energy use.

Smart meters come with a wireless in-home display which shows how much energy is being used, in pounds and pence, in near real-time.

Smart meters are fitted at no extra cost by your energy supplier.

Control your fridge

Ensure your fridge is tightly sealed. If the seals round the edge are leaky, the fridge will have to use more energy to keep the food inside cool.

That costs you energy and money: replace or repair the seals when you can.

Turn down your thermostat one degree

Even a tiny adjustment of your thermostat will make a big difference to your energy bill.

Turn your thermostat down by one degree, see how everyone feels and you could save on your bills.