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Which appliances use the most energy?

Our energy experts investigate which appliances in the home have the biggest impact on energy bills and offers tips on how to use less energy to save money.
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With energy prices still high, there are limited options for both saving money and limiting your impact on the environment. Previously you’d have been able to switch to a better energy deal with one of the increasing number of green energy suppliers, but this is no longer the case.

However, there are still some practical things you can do at home to use less energy, help the environment and save money on your bills while you wait for deals from renewable energy providers to return.

Our Power House report will show you how much energy your everyday appliances use to help you see if you can run your home more efficiently. 

The table below lists the cost of different appliances in each room using the average power rating and the cost is based on the current energy price cap. 

Which kitchen appliances use the most energy?

We tend to spend most of our time in the kitchen, so a lot of a household’s energy usage is going to come from the various appliances used in cooking or storing food. According to the data, using the hob is likely to use the most energy and cost the most money, whether you’re using a gas or electric version. The former uses 9.75 kWh which can be extrapolated to a yearly cost of £143.28, while the latter uses 8.58 kWh and costs £126.85 per year. Fridges, freezers and kettles all cost around £75 per year, while the lowest-cost appliance is an ice cream maker, which uses 0.035 kWh and costs 52p per year.

Device / ApplianceTime used per week HH:MM:SSCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for the UKCost per year for the UK
Air fryer01:25:24£0.56£29.01£4,076,358£211,970,634
Coffee maker01:00:00£0.35£18.20£3,934,000£204,568,000
Electric blender/juicer00:31:54£0.10£5.42£1,171,283£60,906,713
Electric dryer (heated drying rack for clothes)01:56:06£0.16£8.45£365,390£19,000,276
Electric hob02:38:24£2.44£126.85£27,418,406£1,425,757,133
Gas hob02:31:24£2.76£143.28£35,617,334£1,852,101,393
Ice cream maker00:42:36£0.01£0.52£19,552£1,016,703
Oven (electric/fan)03:02:36£0.54£27.92£13,275,078£690,304,078
Slow cooker01:41:12£0.15£7.86£1,910,980£99,370,952
Smart speaker/Virtual home assistant (eg Alexa)02:25:42£0.01£0.53£74,514£3,874,722
Toastie Maker/Grill00:32:12£0.15£7.81£2,069,022£107,589,130
Tumble dryer01:57:48£1.37£71.47£15,061,319£783,188,588
Vacuum cleaner01:09:06£0.05£2.52£856,294£44,527,294
Washing machine03:10:36£0.31£16.19£7,523,198£391,206,297

Which living room appliances use the most energy?

As one of the most-used rooms in the house, living rooms account for a significant chunk of a home’s energy usage as well. According to the data, a built-in air conditioning system in the living room uses an average of 7.29 kWh and costs £106.01 each year. At the cheaper end of the scale - though they’re being increasingly passed over in favour of streaming - are DVD and Blu-Ray players, which use an average of 0.015 kWh and cost around 22p per year.

Device / ApplianceTime used per week HH:MM:SSCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for the UKCost per year for the UK
Built-in air con system02:41:48£2.04£106.01£1,718,607£89,367,576
CD player01:24:24£0.00£0.20£22,135£1,151,036
Computer and monitor06:13:42£0.11£5.89£445,941£23,188,942
Desktop fan01:39:42£0.02£0.85£22,879£1,189,733
DVD/blu-ray player01:31:18£0.00£0.22£34,720£1,805,449
Fish tank (with filters & light)05:41:36£0.24£12.43£335,964£17,470,107
Games console03:35:36£0.20£10.41£1,068,977£55,586,826
Internet router (Wi-Fi)08:06:24£0.17£8.73£2,548,779£132,536,498
Phone charger03:55:18£0.00£0.21£52,232£2,716,089
Plug-in electric heater01:41:48£0.95£49.41£2,135,900£111,066,786
Portable air con unit02:20:36£0.66£34.12£368,747£19,174,841
Record player01:19:30£0.00£0.19£11,468£596,316
Virtual home assistant (eg Alexa)02:08:48£0.01£0.47£43,069£2,239,610

Which bedroom appliances use the most energy?

Air conditioning isn’t limited to the living room - when it comes to bedroom comfort, a built-in air conditioning system can be invaluable, especially during a heatwave. While only 3% of the population have one, its average kWh use is 7.29 kWh, which means an average yearly cost of £106.40. During the winter, a plug-in electric heater can be equally useful in ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep, but with average use of 3 kWh, it will cost £43 per year. 

Device / ApplianceTime used per week HH:MM:SSCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for the UKCost per year for the UK
Built-in air con system02:42:24£2.05£106.40£1,724,980£89,698,977
CD player01:41:42£0.00£0.25£14,670£762,834
Computer and monitor05:30:24£0.10£5.21£563,244£29,288,682
Desktop fan01:43:48£0.02£0.88£66,697£3,468,246
DVD/blu-ray player01:33:06£0.00£0.23£14,650£761,811
Electric blanket02:27:18£0.07£3.57£231,791£12,053,147
Games console03:27:18£0.19£10.01£865,537£45,007,906
Hair curlers/straighteners00:49:00£0.01£0.62£80,191£4,169,914
Hair dryer00:42:54£0.36£18.74£4,050,446£210,623,213
Phone charger04:37:54£0.00£0.25£69,735£3,626,237
Plug-in electric heater01:28:36£0.83£43.00£2,091,314£108,748,349
Portable air con unit01:46:36£0.50£25.87£559,153£29,075,932
Record player01:19:42£0.00£0.19£7,316£380,428
Smart speaker/Virtual home assistant (eg Alexa)01:58:00£0.01£0.43£41,779£2,172,512

Which bathroom appliances use the most energy?

In the bathroom, an electric shower uses the most energy according to the data - with an average use of 10.5 kWh, this translates into an average cost of £3.07 per week for UK households. Conversely, a gas shower costs £1.48 on average each week. At the other end of the scale, electric hair straighteners and curlers use 0.0416 kWh each week, translating into a yearly cost of 64p.

Device / ApplianceTime used per week HH:MM:SSCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for the UKCost per year for the UK
Electric razor00:39:18£0.01£0.38£45,351£2,358,260
Electric toothbrush00:51:54£0.00£0.08£22,878£1,189,642
Hair curlers/straighteners00:50:30£0.01£0.64£37,879£1,969,717
Hair dryer00:43:54£0.37£19.18£1,865,188£96,989,780
Shower (electric)01:27:36£3.07£159.43£73,231,410£3,808,033,320
Shower (gas)01:27:36£1.48£76.96£35,349,800£1,838,189,600

Which garden appliances use the most energy?

Most people don’t necessarily think of gardens having appliances in the same way that kitchens and bathrooms do, but whatever a hot tub or a barbecue might be categorised as, their energy cost is still something to be aware of. An electric barbecue uses 3.3 kWh, which costs the average household 95p per week or £49.28 per year, while a hot tub is only marginally cheaper at £46.16 per year from an average kWh use of 3.2 kWh. The cheapest garden appliance is a plug-in water feature, which has an average yearly cost of £1.42. 

Device / ApplianceTime used per week HH:MM:SSCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for the UKCost per year for the UK
Electric barbeque01:32:18£0.95£49.28£1,065,117£55,386,104
Electric lawn mower00:33:06£0.25£12.85£2,013,998£104,727,906
Electric lights02:20:00£0.08£4.25£298,328£15,513,073
Hot tub01:35:06£0.89£46.16£1,247,078£64,848,056
Plug-in water feature02:12:48£0.03£1.42£53,637£2,789,107

See full appliance energy usage data here

Tips on how to reduce appliance energy usage

  • Choose appliances with a high energy efficiency rating wherever possible - A-rated devices are the most energy-efficient

  • Turn appliances off at the plug when you aren’t using them

  • Switch off lights when leaving the room

  • Swap halogen light bulbs for LED versions which last longer and cost less in the long-term 

  • If possible, set a heating schedule for the times when you’re using certain rooms or know you’ll be at home

  • You can find Uswitch’s list of over 100 energy-saving tips for all budgets here.

What’s the impact of energy saving on Net Zero? 

Reducing your appliance energy outputs can reduce your monthly bills and also help reduce your carbon footprint. Energy consumption in the UK contributes 95.8 million tonnes, which is 21% of the country’s overall carbon production. The UK has pledged to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050, which means having to increase renewable energy sources, as well as reducing carbon emissions from things such as transport, diet and waste. 

Uswitch's energy expert Ben Gallizzi says: 

“With the cost of living increasing, many of us are trying to find ways to cut down on our energy bills. It’s easy to think that small appliances may not have a big impact on your overall energy bill, but surprisingly they can often have the most impact. 

“Getting used to turning off electrical items at the plug sockets after use; making sure lights are turned off if rooms aren’t being used; and using more energy efficient appliances wherever possible can all shave pounds off your bills.”


Methodology and sources

Research conducted online by Opinium, 29 April to 3 May 2022, among 2,000 UK residents, weighted to be nationally representative.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons

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