Which kitchen appliances consume the most energy?

With energy costs rising day by day, you might be wondering which appliances in your home are contributing the most to your sky-high monthly bill.

We’ve collected energy consumption data for the most common kitchen appliances, from everyday essentials like your fridge-freezer to handy extras like air fryers, so you can find out how much each of them has. cost them (on average) to operate.

Read on to find out which appliances use the most energy and get practical tips and tricks on how you can reduce the amount of energy you spend each month.


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The most expensive major appliances to run

Based on our current test data, the table below summarizes the average annual running costs for each major appliance in your kitchen.

Table notes:

  • Prices correct as of June 2022, based on live products on our website at time of publication.
  • Fridge-freezer figure based on constant use. Remaining device counts based on estimated usage.
  • Who? also tested five vented dryers with running costs ranging from £114.23 to £166.13.

Our tests show that condenser dryers are the most expensive appliances to run by quite a margin, costing the average household just over £140 a year (based on data from 24 models). That’s more than double the amount you can expect to spend if you own a heat pump model. Heat pump dryers are much more energy efficient and will only cost you around £56.04 a year

Second are American style fridge freezers, which will set you back around £120 each year (based on data from 100 models). Standalone and built-in models tend to be smaller and as such significantly cheaper to run, costing £84.94 and £72.41 per year respectively. Fridge-freezers need to run 24/7 to keep your food fresh and healthy, which explains their higher energy consumption.

Covering the bottom half of our chart, the average built-in electric oven costs £64.18 a year to run – this is based on data from 259 models we put to our lab tests. Your washing machine isn’t far behind, so you can expect to spend around £63.25 a year to keep your clothes spotless.


Find out how much your appliances are costing you with our running cost calculation tools:


The Most Expensive Small Appliances to Run

Stainless steel kettle on a kitchen counter

Although we don’t collect the annual running costs of small kitchen appliances in the same way we do for large ones, we are still able to estimate which ones are the most expensive to run by using their average wattage.

The small kitchen appliance with the highest wattage is the humble kettle. The average kettle has a power rating of around 3000W, and each boil will cost you around 3p. That means boiling your kettle three times a day, every day, will cost you around £32 a year (based on the latest energy price cap).

Another interesting product is the air fryer – the average model we test has a power rating of just over 1600W (based on 43 models). These are often cheaper to run than larger appliances such as ovens because they perform the same tasks faster (and use less energy). It’s the same story for microwaves, which have an average power of 800W based on the 138 models we tested.

Smaller, less frequently used appliances, such as blenders and juicers, typically have power ratings well below 1000W, so your usual morning smoothie habit shouldn’t impact your bills too much. of energy.


Choose an energy-efficient kettle with our guide to The best energy saving kettles.


How to save on your energy bills

Woman setting a washing machine program

If you’re looking to reduce the amount of energy you expend each month, there are a handful of things you can do in your kitchen to help.

  1. Wash your clothes at low temperature it’s better for your wallet (and the planet) if you choose to wash your clothes at 30 degrees.
  2. Fill your dishwasher to the brim – rather than washing little and often, it is better to do fewer washes per week and only run full loads.
  3. Dry your clothes on the line – it may seem obvious, but if the weather is nice outside, put your clothes in the garden rather than in the dryer.
  4. Turn off devices in sleep mode – everything consumes power when left on standby, so turning things off at the plug is an easy way to save money.
  5. Wait for food to cool before freezing it – putting hot food in the freezer makes your freezer work harder, so let it cool on the counter beforehand.
  6. Keep appliances perfectly clean – regular descaling of your kettle and defrosting of your freezer will allow them to operate with maximum efficiency.

Read our guide to 10 ways to lower your energy bills for other handy tips and tricks on cutting costs at home.


Tips for buying energy efficient appliances

Couple buying clothes dryer

Specific advice will vary depending on the type of appliance you’re considering buying, but there are some general rules to follow that will help you get your hands on the most eco-friendly option possible.

First – and this may seem like a no-brainer – make sure you’re buying a device that’s the right size for your needs. For example, if there are only two of you, there is no need to buy a large American-style fridge-freezer. Instead, go for something smaller that won’t require as much power to run.

Some types of appliances are inherently more energy efficient than others, such as heat pump dryers. In some cases, these can be a more expensive investment in the short term, but it’s usually worth it in the long run as they will pay for themselves over time.

A surefire way to know that you have chosen one of the most eco-friendly options is to choose one of our Eco Buy products. These are devices that not only score well in our performance tests, but will have the smallest environmental impact of any model we tested in their class.

Products currently carry our Eco Buy recommendation in the following areas:

  • Built-in ovens
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge freezers
  • Refrigerators
  • Kettles
  • clothes dryer
  • Washer-dryers
  • Washing machine

For more information on what makes an Eco Buy product, visit our story at choose one Which one? Eco-purchase.


Is it cheaper to use electricity at night?

Woman sleeping next to an alarm clock

You’ve probably heard of “off-peak power” before, so you might be wondering if you could save money by using your devices in the evening or at night instead of during the day.

The type of tariff you are on will determine whether this is true or not. Some energy companies offer cheaper prices during certain off-peak hours (usually between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.) for customers under specific contracts, which means you will pay less for electricity at night than during the day .

However, official fire advice means that we do not recommend running appliances such as your washing machine or dishwasher overnight, or whenever you are not in the house. Anything with a high horsepower or motor is a fire hazard and should not be left unattended.


Read our story on how to make big savings with an energy efficient appliance to minimize your monthly expenses.


Karl M. Bailey