The cost of living crisis continues to impact households, even with the news that the energy price cap is going down.
Ofgem’s energy price cap is currently set at £4,279/year, and it is falling to £3,280 from April 1.
But that’s still a budget-stretching figure for most – especially when factoring in all the other bills going up this year.
So, people are looking to different ways to save money where they can, from cheaper lunches to money saving tips from home.
From being smart about using the heating to monitoring your use of kitchen appliances, there are lots of small changes you can make which could save you money on your energy bills.
One of the things you might not have thought about is how much energy is drained by appliances that are plugged in – but not being used.
How many of us are guilty of leaving phone chargers, laptop chargers, TVs, and clocks plugged in at the mains – and not properly switched off? Well, that habit could be costing you.
‘If you leave an appliance plugged in and switched on, even if you are not actively using the product, it will drain electricity,’ says Natalia Lachim from Discount Code.
‘This is because electricity will be able to run through the device, thus increasing your energy use and, unfortunately, your energy bills.
‘To reduce the amount of energy used and the cost of energy prices, simply switching off the mains means the electrical current is unable to flow through.’
So, which appliances are the biggest ‘energy vampires’ that are costing you the most money? Natalia explains below:
‘As a fridge/freezer needs to constantly be on, it is unsurprising that over 12% of the entire household’s energy comes from the fridge/freezer alone, costing households around £114.24 per year,’ says Natalia.
Obviously you can’t just turn off your fridge when you’re not using it, but Natalia says there are ways to ensure it works as efficiently as possible – meaning you will only pay the minimum.
‘Regular cleaning of the fridge, both external and internal cleaning, is the simplest way to ensure it runs efficiently,’ she says.
‘Dusting the exterior means dust won’t get into the system and affect how it works and cleaning the interior and disposing of any out of date food means the fridge doesn’t need to work as hard to keep food cool or frozen.’
‘A 2021 study showed that a massive 98% of UK households admit to leaving their TV on standby at all times, with many wrongly assuming that turning off via the remote switches it off entirely – however this isn’t always the case,’ says Natalia.
‘Leaving the TV plugged in and switched on uses 1.3kWh. As the average cost of electricity is now £0.28 per unit, this can add £132.86 a year to your bill.’
‘Games consoles tend to be left switched on and plugged in as much as TVs and are often overlooked,’ says Natalia.
‘Simply ensuring it is turned off completely can save £4.20 each day, as when a typical games console is left on standby it uses a hefty 15kWh per hour.’
While a kettle isn’t the worst culprit for being an energy drainer, Natalia says it will add an unnecessary amount to your bill – so it’s best to switch it off at the mains.
‘Leaving an average kettle plugged in and switched on when not in use uses around 0.3kWh,’ says Natalia. ‘Of course, this figure isn’t enormous, but it still adds £30.66 to your annual bill.’
Home exercise equipment
If you got into home workouts during lockdown, you may have invested in some exercise equipment – from treadmills to exercise bikes. Great for your health, less good for your bank balance.
‘Whether or not we’ve kept to our fitness habits is another story, however, if sports equipment is left plugged in then it can be costly,’ says Natalia.
‘An average exercise bike uses 7kWh when left on standby which will add just under £20 to your annual bill.’
Plugged in chargers
We are all guilty of leaving our chargers plugged in and ready to charge our devices whenever we need them, and Natalia says it would be wrong to assume the charger will only cost money if a device is actually plugged in.
‘While leaving an empty charger plugged in might not be the most expensive, it is adding unnecessary costs to your bills, adding around £20 to your annual bill,’ she adds.
First appear at These home appliances use the most energy when left on standby