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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 their average power rating and the costs are based on the average unit rates according to the Energy Price Guarantee, which will last until April 2023. 

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 / ApplianceAverage minutes used per weekCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for countryCost per year for country
Breadmaker78£0.24£12.48£1,024,667£53,282,684
Coffee maker60£0.43£22.36£4,777,000£248,404,000
Dishwasher198£0.89£46.28£11,457,348£595,782,096
Electric blender/juicer31.9£0.13£6.76£1,422,272£73,958,144
Electric dryer / airer (heated drying rack for clothes)116.1£0.20£10.40£443,688£23,071,776
Electric hob158.4£2.96£153.92£33,293,779£1,731,276,508
Freezer10080£1.8294.86£41,521,317£2,159,108,484
Fridge10080£1.0956.44£27,144,384£1,411,507,968
Fridge/freezer10080£1.6183.47£36,535,7821899860670
Hob (average)92.4£1.54£79.89£37,126,335£1,930,569,443
Ice cream maker42.6£0.01£0.52£23,742£1,234,584
Iron52.2£0.92£47.84£15,717,954£817,333,608
Kettle105.1£1.79£93.08£43,679,455£2,271,331,660
Microwave65.3£0.37£19.24£8,942,226£464,995,752
One gas hob151.4£0.01£0.52£65,510£3,406,520
Oven (electric/fan)182.6£0.65£33.80£16,119,738£838,226,376
Slow cooker101.2£0.18£9.36£2,320,476£120,664,752
Smart speaker/Virtual home assistant (eg Alexa)145.7£0.01£0.52£90,481£4,705,012
Steamer10£0.10£5.20£0£0
Toastie Maker/Grill32.2£0.18£9.36£2,512,384£130,643,968
Tumble dryer117.8£1.67£86.84£18,288,745£951,014,740
Vacuum cleaner69.1£0.06£3.12£1,039,786£54,068,872
Washing machine190.6£0.77£40.04£18,583,834£966,359,368

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 / ApplianceAverage minutes used per weekCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for countryCost per year for country
Amp171.5£0.15£7.80£204,814£10,650,328
Amplifier95.2£0.08£4.16£113,693£5,912,036
Built-in air con system162.4£2.48£128.96£2,094,619£108,920,188
CD player101.7£0.01£0.52£17,813£926,276
Computer and monitor373.7£0.14£7.28£541,500£28,158,000
Dehumidifier184.7£0.37£19.24£823,491£42,821,532
Desktop fan103.8£0.02£1.04£80,989£4,211,428
DVD/blu-ray player93.1£0.01£0.52£17,790£925,080
Fish tank (with filters & light)341.6£0.29£15.08£407,956£21,213,712
Games console215.6£0.24£12.48£1,298,044£67,498,288
Internet router (Wi-Fi)486.4£0.42£21.84£6,413,868£333,521,136
Lamp312.7£0.02£1.04£376,430£19,574,360
Laptop331.6£0.17£8.84£1,815,260£94,393,520
Phone charger235.3£0.00£0.00£63,425£3,298,100
Plug-in electric heater101.8£1.15£59.80£2,593,593£134,866,836
Portable air con unit140.6£0.80£41.60£447,764£23,283,728
Record player79.5£0.00£0.00£13,925£724,100
Speakers193.9£0.01£0.52£74,101£3,853,252
TV451.5£0.25£13.00£5,439,489£282,853,428
Smart speaker/Virtual home assistant (eg Alexa)128.8£0.01£0.52£52,299£2,719,548

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 / ApplianceAverage minutes used per weekCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for countryCost per year for country
Amp171.5£0.15£7.80£204,814£10,650,328
Amplifier95.2£0.08£4.16£113,693£5,912,036
Built-in air con system162.4£2.48£128.96£2,094,619£108,920,188
CD player101.7£0.01£0.52£17,813£926,276
Computer and monitor373.7£0.14£7.28£541,500£28,158,000
Dehumidifier184.7£0.37£19.24£823,491£42,821,532
Desktop fan103.8£0.02£1.04£80,989£4,211,428
DVD/blu-ray player93.1£0.01£0.52£17,790£925,080
Electric blanket147.3£0.08£4.16£281,461£14,635,972
Games console215.6£0.24£12.48£1,298,044£67,498,288
Hair curlers/straighteners50.5£0.01£0.52£45,996£2,391,792
Hair dryer43.9£0.45£23.40£2,264,871£117,773,292
Lamp312.7£0.02£1.04£376,430£19,574,360
Laptop331.6£0.17£8.84£1,815,260£94,393,520
Phone charger277.9£0.01£0.52£84,679£4,403,308
Plug-in electric heater88.6£1.00£52.00£2,539,453£132,051,556
Portable air con unit106.6£0.60£31.20£678,971£35,306,492
Record player79.7£0.00£0.00£8,884£461,968
Smart speaker/Virtual home assistant (eg Alexa)118£0.01£0.52£50,732£2,638,064
TV389.9£0.21£10.92£2,408,901£125,262,852

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 / ApplianceAverage minutes used per weekCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for countryCost per year for country
Bath71.7£0.56£29.12£11,015,200£572,790,400
Electric razor39.3£0.01£0.52£55,069£2,863,588
Electric toothbrush51.9£0.00£0.10£27,780£1,444,560
Shower (electric)87.6£3.72£193.44£88,923,855£4,624,040,460
Shower (gas)87.6£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 / ApplianceAverage minutes used per weekCost per week per householdCost per year per householdCost per week for countryCost per year for country
Electric barbeque92.3£1.15£59.80£1,293,357£67,254,564
Electric lawn mower33.1£0.30£15.60£2,445,569£127,169,588
Electric lights140£0.10£5.20£362,256£18,837,312
Hot tub95.1£1.08£56.16£1,514,309£78,744,068
Plug-in water feature132.8£0.03£1.56£65,130£3,386,760

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.

Control your energy bills with Utrack

Get personalised energy-saving advice with mobile app Utrack and keep bills at a manageable level this winter

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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.”

FAQs

Methodology and sources

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

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Creative Commons

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