As UK households grapple with the cost of living crisis and prepare for things to get even worse in April, we are all looking for ways to save money where we can. Energy bills are set to rise by around £700 a year when the price cap is raised by Ofgem in response to a record rise in the global cost of gas.
Those with default rates paying by direct debit will see an increase from £1,277 to £1,971 per year. Prepaid customers will see a slightly larger increase from £1,309 to £2,017.
So what can we do about it? Now might be a good time to take a look at how you use energy at home.
LEARN MORE: DWP Universal Credit Calculators can check your eligibility for each benefit
Based on current energy prices, Magnet looked at the annual running costs of the top 20 kitchen appliances by combining average rated power and estimated annual hours of use.
Ten of these cost over £50 a year, with the worst culprit being the dishwasher.
Estimated average number of hours used annually
Annual energy consumption
Price to run for one year
The research of Magnet shows that your dishwasher is probably costing you the most in terms of your annual energy bill. Although it won’t be on for as many hours as some other devices, it does consume a lot of power. In 12 months the device will use an average of 1,355,063 watts at a hefty total cost of £266. That’s more than the cost of 24-hour use of a fridge-freezer, priced at £257.94.
At the very bottom of the list is the blender again. The gadget only uses 4,258 watts per year, at a total cost of 90 pence. Juicers won’t break the bank either, using an average of 10,646 watts each year. The cost after that will be just £2.09 a year – and that’s even if you use it for five minutes each day.
And we have to keep in mind that these prices will go up. The average electricity tariff of 19.63p per kWh will increase to 28p per kWh from April for a typical direct debit customer.
So what can we do about all of this? There are several ways to make energy use as efficient and economical as possible.
9 ways to save energy in the kitchen
- Try not to put the dryer on so often and put your laundry outside (which is a definite option as we head into warmer weather) or dry it on a drying rack placed in front of the tub or near the radiator.
- Try filling the oven rather than leaving it on for two hours with a single jacket potato. Could you also put in a casserole at the same time, for example? Or also cook a whole chicken and use it over several days. Gym fanatics could cook up a platter of sweet potatoes and another of chicken breasts to use for multi-day meal prep.
- Fill the kettle only to the required level and do not go far so that it then needs to be reboiled. Or consider boiling a full kettle and using it to make a cup of tea or coffee to use throughout the day.
- Dishwashers should be fully stacked and placed on an economy setting. And try to reduce what needs to be washed by using coffee cups, teaspoons and other items more than once – they can be quickly rinsed under a tap and reused.
While some appliances cannot be switched off, such as the fridge-freezer, others waste energy on standby. You can save energy simply by unplugging the dishwasher, microwave or toaster. Encourage yourself to make a habit of turning these devices off when not in use and you’ll save money instantly.
Invest in smart devices. Older devices often consume a considerable amount of power due to their low efficiency, so it may be worth upgrading them.
Appliances such as fridge-freezers, dishwashers and washing machines are all becoming more and more energy efficient. However, if your devices are too big for your needs, they will still waste a lot of energy. If you live alone, you probably won’t need a family-sized fridge-freezer, so go smaller and save money and energy.
Your fridge-freezer is one of the biggest energy consumers because it needs to be on all the time. A simple way to reduce its energy consumption is to help the device maintain or restore its correct temperature as quickly as possible. You can do this by making sure cooked food is cooled before putting it in the fridge-freezer, not leaving the door open for long periods of time, closing the door properly and making sure the seals work properly. To check the seal, close a piece of paper in the door – if it can be easily removed, it needs to be fixed.
Reduce your energy consumption by covering pots and pans with lids to encourage water to boil faster and use less energy. Turning off the heat a few minutes before the end of cooking is also a great way to save energy, as the heat will be retained for a short time before the hob (or oven) cools down.
Read more: Exact times to visit Sainsbury’s, Asda, M&S, Morrisons for yellow sticker deals
Get all the latest money saving news straight to your inbox with our free daily newsletters.
See the average cost of living in your area by typing the postal code in the box below: