MILLIONS of house-holds are facing an energy crisis this winter – but you have the power to zap your electricity bill.
Put simply, every electrical appliance has a power rating — usually shown in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). There are 1000W in 1kW. This is the amount of electricity the appliance needs in order to work.
To understand the cost of running each appliance, you need to consider how much power it needs, but also how long it is on for.
While a fridge has a low wattage rating, it uses a lot of electricity as it is in constant use.
An iron uses a high amount of power, but costs less overall as it is used only in short bursts.
The helpful table, above, from the Centre For Sustainable Energy reveals the approximate average cost of running a range of common appliances.
The costs are based on a unit price for electricity of 34p per kilowatt per hour (kWh), which is the average direct debit rate according to the price cap that comes into force tomorrow.
The actual power rating will depend on the size and specifications of your particular appliance.
Find out more at cse.org.uk/advice/advice-and-support.
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HOW TO FIND ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
Follow these ten top tips from energysavingtrust.org.uk to power down your household costs.
1. Buy energy efficient: Appliances are tested for how much energy they use and are rated from A (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient). Some appliances use an older scale, from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most efficient. Look at the label before you buy.
2. Size matters: Choose the appliances which best fit your household needs. A 9kg washing machine makes sense for large families with lots of washing to do but will waste power in a single-person home. Large appliances cost more to run so try to downsize where you can.
3. Ovens: Fan-assisted ovens are more energy efficient as they cook at lower temperatures by circulating the air around the food. Look for an oven with a triple-glazed door, as this will keep the heat in and cook food quicker. Electric hobs are more efficient than gas rings.
4. Microwaves: Microwaves can provide a more energy-efficient way to cook your food than by using a traditional oven. Unlike ovens, microwaves only heat your food and not the air space all around it, which means they use less energy to cook your dinner.
5. Dishwashers: Dishwashers are energy-intensive appliances, typically costing between £37 and £48 a year to run. If you have a small household, you can cut your costs by washing up the traditional way.
6. Kettles: Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen so their costs add up quickly. Look for eco kettles, as these help you only boil the amount of water required and can use 20 per cent less energy than a conventional electric kettle.
7. Tumble dryers: Drying your clothes outdoors on a washing line, or indoors on a rack during the winter months, costs nothing and uses no energy. If you do need a tumble dryer, seek out one with a sensor to alert you when your clothes are dry enough. This will prevent you from wasting energy by over-drying your laundry.
8. Computers: Lap-tops typically use 65 per cent less electricity over a year than desktop PCs, saving you around £15 a year.
9. TVs: The larger the screen, the more energy it will consume, regardless of its energy rating. Choose a smaller telly to cut down costs. You can also reduce the brightness settings to the lowest acceptable limit and remember to switch the telly off when you’re not using it.
10. Smart speakers: Smart speakers cost around £2 to £5 a year to run, so aren’t too taxing on your energy bill but if you want to trim costs, switch them off when you don’t need them.