10 household appliances which are draining your energy budget

July 13, 2023

Are you guilty of heading off to bed with the games console light blinking at you? Or maybe you leave the tumble dryer on standby whilst you are at work?

fI so, you could be enabling the ‘vampire appliances’ to drain your energy funds.

Vampire appliances – so named because they suck the most energy from the grid – are responsible for, on average, £147 of hidden costs on our energy bills according to data from Quotezone.co.uk.

And some of the biggest culprits are those household items which you might least expect.

The main way appliances and devices drain excess energy is through being left on standby mode, Quotezone said.

It revealed 23% of household electricity use was wasted on vampire appliances that consume a lot of energy even when they’re turned off.

And it’s those smaller items which are doing the most consuming – such as smart speakers – along with consoles and computers which account for around 5% of the electricity bill.

More obvious white appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers have also made Quotezone’s list of top ten vampire appliances.

Greg Wilson, founder at Quotezone.co.uk, said: “The simplest way for families to reduce their energy usage and save money is to eliminate unnecessary electricity use.

“Leaving appliances on standby means that they’ll still be draining power even when you’re not using them which causes unnecessary costs on your energy bills.

“Something as simple as flicking a switch can prevent the vampire appliances from eating up almost a quarter of your energy consumption.

Here are the ten appliances that use the most standby energy so you know what to switch off…

  1. Games console

Besides the running costs, leaving your gaming console on standby for a whole year will cost you £27.52.

Modern gaming consoles are much more powerful than they used to be and consume a lot of energy because they are connected to the internet even when they’re in standby mode.

  1. Desktop computer

A lot of people are working from home nowadays and are using their computers for most of the day which already adds a considerable sum of money to their electricity bills. Leaving the computer on standby will add another £13.39 to their annual bills.

  1. Laptops

The annual standby cost of laptops is £10.41. The good thing with laptops is that you can unplug them as soon as they’ve got enough charge instead of letting them eat up power all day.

  1. Smart speakers

Smart speakers consume 3W per hour on standby. People usually only use smart speakers for a few hours per day but if they’re left plugged in and on standby all year round then it’ll add £7.44 to annual electricity bills.

  1. Dishwasher

Dishwashers use the same amount of standby energy per hour as smart speakers, with an annual cost of £7.44.

If you’re doing multiple loads each day then you may not want to leave it on standby but it’s still worth switching it off for the night.

  1. Washing machine

You pay less than 1p for an hour of standby use of your washing machine, yet it’ll cost £6.45 for an entire year. With the same amount of money you can run two 3W LED bulbs for an entire year for eight hours a day.

  1. Tumble dryer

Tumble dryers are one of the highest energy-consuming appliances, costing you £1.20 per cycle. Just like washing machines, leaving tumble dryers on standby will add another unnecessary £6.45 to your annual bills.

  1. Microwave

A lot of households leave their microwaves on all the time even when they only use them for less than an hour per day.

Microwaves already have a high daily active cost but if they’re also never switched off, then it’ll cost families an extra £5.95 per year.

  1. TV

The annual standby cost for a TV is £5.7 but it’ll be even more expensive if you have a set-top box. TVs are already one of the energy-hungriest devices so make sure to switch them off when they’re not in use to cut back on costs.

  1. Printer

As everything’s online now, printers don’t usually find a lot of everyday use for average households.

However, they’re often left to sit in standby mode all year round costing £1.24 per year. It’s not a big sum of money but you may as well save that money instead of letting it go to waste.


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