Energy Saving Advice - Part 2: Appliance Efficiency
All figures and calculations are correct at the time of publication.

Energy Saving Advice - Part 2: Appliance Efficiency

When it comes to using your appliances more efficiently, a good place to start is by understanding how your household is currently using them. Then, you can easily identify how you should be focussing your energy-saving efforts.

While everyone should know to turn lights off when they leave a room, there are plenty of other energy-saving actions that you might not be aware of.

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Here is a rundown of how much your household appliances are costing you, and how you can use them more efficiently to save money on your energy bills.

Tumble Dryer

💸 Cost: Tumble dryer costs vary widely based on efficiency, ranging from £47 a year for a heat pump dryer, £114 for a vented tumble dryer, and £119 annually for condenser dryers.

💡 Tip: Select a model renowned for its energy-saving features. Choosing a heat pump tumble dryer over other variants can be a worthwhile investment and could cut your running costs in half! 

Use your tumble dryer efficiently by making sure it's adequately filled, without overloading it. For quicker drying times, place a dry tea towel among the laundry load, as it can notably expedite the process. Additionally, maintain the dryer's performance by routinely cleaning filters and ensuring buttons on items like duvet covers are securely fastened, preventing other laundry from getting trapped and hindering proper drying.

Whenever feasible, harness the natural power of the sun by opting to dry clothes outside!

How much does my washing machine and tumble dryer cost to run 2 (3)

Fridge & Freezer

💸 Cost: On average, a fridge freezer costs £62 per year.

💡 Tip: Choosing an A-rated unit over an F-rated one can save you about £30 a year. Remember, a smaller fridge may use less energy than a larger one with the same rating. Look for the yearly energy consumption in kWh/annum on the label to compare appliances.

Keeping your fridge and freezer full helps them to retain the cold better, and they won't have to work as hard. If you don't have enough food, you can always add containers of water. Make sure your fridge is set at the right temperature of 5 degrees Celsius or less, and check there is a gap of around 10cm behind your fridge to let the heat from the radiator on the rear escape more easily.

part 2 fridge

Washing machine

💸 Cost: Washing machines cost on average £48 per year to run.

💡 Tip: Choose an A-rated machine over a D-rated one to save around £8 a year. Wash full loads at low temperatures to maximise savings.

part 2 washing machine


💸 Cost: Running your dishwasher makes up around 8% of your electricity bill. On average, it will be costing you £69 per year. 

💡 Tip: A-rated dishwashers save about £30 per year compared to lower-rated models of the same size and use less water.

part 2 dishwasher


💸 Cost: The majority of us boil more water in our kettles than we need to. Overfilling could be adding around £8 a year to your electricity bill.

💡 Tip: Choose a kettle that switches off immediately after boiling and has a low minimum fill level. This means you'll only boil the water you need, which can use up to 20% less energy. 

part 2 kettle

Oven & Hob

💸 Cost: On average an electric oven costs £50 a year to run.

💡 Tip: Choose A+++ rated gas and electric ovens for maximum efficiency. Remember, the pyrolytic function for cleaning can increase running costs as it's energy-intensive. Check the energy label on both electric and gas ovens to make the most efficient choice.

💰 Bigger savings: If you have an air fryer, use it over your oven. You can halve your cooking costs as it requires less energy to reach its maximum temperature.

part 2 oven


Good energy habits

To mop up some of the smaller efficiency savings, make sure you’re not leaving standby appliances on at the plug. Devices like multi-room speakers or your digital TV box can add up considerably over the course of a year, contributing to your Phantom Load.

Standby appliances Average annual cost (29p)
Digital TV box (left on) £28.67
Multi-room speakers (in idle mode) £21.38
Router (left on) £5.81
Microwave (left on) £3.52
Digital clock (left on) £1.98
TV (on standby) £0.95
Coffee maker (left on) £1.28
Phone charger (plugged in, not charging) £0.27


Next steps

Now your home is as energy efficient as possible, read Part 3: Big Energy Savers. Find out how your home can go from super-saver to self-sufficient.

Have you read Part 1: Low Effort, High Reward Actions yet? Find out which simple energy-saving actions can benefit your wallet the most.


[Appliance costs used in this article are from EnergySavingTrust and Which?.]

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