Mr Lender’s Top Tips for Reducing Energy Costs

Published: 11/05/2022 and written by P Smith

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a homeowner, a renter, a student, or you live with your parents, there are many things you can do to save energy and reduce your bills. We’re all responsible for the energy we use in our homes, here are a few tips which could help you save money. The team at Mr Lender have been sifting through many online articles to determine the average cost of leaving your electrical products on standby and plugged in as well as in use. According to Confused.com, UK households waste a combined amount of around £470 million in energy use per year.

Keeping Appliances on Standby

Keeping appliances ‘on standby’ means your device is not actually turned off, it is only powered down into an energy saving mode while not in use. This allows you to turn them back on quickly when you need to, but also means the devices are still using energy. According to The Energy Saving Trust’s research, between 9-16% of the electricity consumed in homes is used to power appliances when they are in standby mode. This wastage can add up to £86 onto your annual electricity bill.

Televisions
When left on standby, a television can use up to a quarter of the number of watts needed to power it when switched on. So even if it goes a whole day without being used, it will still cost you roughly 3.2p. It doesn’t sound like much, but over the year it quickly adds up. Leaving one TV on Standby could cost up to £11 a year. Many people have more than one TV so the costs can quickly rack up.

Games consoles (Xbox / PlayStation)
On standby, games consoles use 10 watts per hour on average, so when not in use, these could be costing up to 0.18p per hour. This works out at around 4.45p a day, so just over £16 a year, and 2 consoles means double the cost.

Laptops
Make sure you unplug you laptop once it’s fully charged, and shut it down when you’re finished using it, rather than just closing the lid. Leaving it on standby can cost an extra 2p a day, adding up to almost £5 a year.

Smart Speakers
While in use, a smart speaker will only require about 3 watts of energy per hour, however, on standby they still use over 2 watts. This means each speaker can add an extra £4 on average to your bill each year.
Printers
A printer needs around the same amount of energy when in use as when left on standby. As this can be up to 4 watts per hour, almost 2p, this could add up to £7 a year to your electricity bill.

Kettles 
Leaving kettles plugged in and switched on when not in use, will use roughly 0.3kWh. This figure doesn’t sound like a lot, but can add nearly £5 a year to your bill. Filling a kettle up all the way up with water, only to reheat this repeatedly throughout the day is very wasteful.

Chargers
We are all guilty of leaving our chargers plugged in and ready to charge our devices whenever we need them, however this can still add unnecessary costs to your bills of up to £20 a year.

Full Power Running Costs

Appliances with moving parts or those which heat up when in use will be the most expensive to use. For example, a tumble dryer is one of the most costly appliances to run. According to the The Energy Savings Trust’s research, the average standing charge in the UK in 2021 was 24p per day for electricity on a standard tariff, which adds up to £89 per year.

Televisions
If a family household uses a standard LED Smart TV for around 5 hours a day, this would use around 0.4kWh of energy, or around 15p, which can add up to £51.36 a year. With most households owning more than one television this number can quickly double, if not triple.

Games consoles (Xbox / PlayStation)
If you use a games console for 4 hours, you can expect to pay 0.3p a day. This may not sound like a lot, but over the course of a year this works out at around £103.68. Not to mention the additional cost of running the TV at the same time.

Laptops
After Covid we have seen an influx in the number of people that are working from home or hybrid working. This means you will be using your own electricity to power your work devices on top of additional heating and lighting costs. If you were to use a laptop for 8 hours a day, it will cost 5p, equating roughly £20 a year.

KettlesBased on a rough estimate that a household will use a kettle for 15 minutes a day, it could use around 0.8kWh. On a yearly basis this could work out to just over an £80 cost.

Fridge / freezer
These obviously need to be constantly running, so it’s no surprise that over 12% of an entire household’s energy comes from these appliances alone, costing households around £115 per year.

Microwaves
Going by an estimate that the average household will use a microwave for 10 minutes a day, this will cost you around 0.05p. Over the course of a year, can expect to pay about £20.

Washing Machines / Tumble Dryers
These are some of the most expensive appliances you can have in your home. If a family run a washing machine twice a week, they can expect to pay around £1.80. Over the course of a year, that equates to £173. If they also run a tumble dryer after each of those washes, this would cost an extra £2.40 a week, adding up to an additional £230 a year.

Vacuum Cleaners
Unless you have hard wood floors, you’re probably going to be using a vacuum in your home. If you use it for 2 hours a week, you can expect to pay around 0.40p, this works out at around £20 annually.

Tips to Reduce Energy Costs

Put a lid on it
It doesn’t matter whether you use gas or electric, when heating anything on the hob, make sure to put a lid on all your pots and pans. By cooking with the lid on, you will reduce the cooking time and water usage significantly, by limiting the amount of heat that escapes.

Defrost naturally
Defrosting food in the microwave uses energy unnecessarily. Getting it out the night before or first thing in the morning and putting it in the fridge can save you money and time in the evening.

Only boil what you will use
One way to reduce kettle costs is to just boil as much water as you need. The Energy Savings Trust’s research estimates that by only boiling as much water as you need, you could save up to £33 per year.

Air dry clothes
As we get closer to the summer holidays, it’s worth air drying your clothes outside on the washing line if you can. You could save up to £55 a year if you stopped using your tumble dryer altogether.

Reduce the temperature
It can be hard to reduce your number of weekly washes if you have a large family, instead try reducing the temperature of your wash from 40 to 30 degrees. This small change could end up saving you up to £28 per year.

Install a Smart Meter
You can contact your energy provider to request a smart meter fitting. These are free to install, and will ensure that you are only paying for the energy you use rather than an estimate. According to the Government’s Smart Meter Roll-Out Cost-Benefit Analysis, getting a smart meter installed could save you over £35 per year on gas and electricity.

Wash up in a bowl
Instead of using a dishwasher or running the water constantly when you are washing up, buy a plastic bowl for your sink and use this to wash up in as this can cut the cost substantially. If you are going to use your dishwasher, only run it when it is full to reduce the amount of water and energy you use. Reducing your dishwasher use by 1 run per week could save you up to £14 a year.

* All prices are based on the best energy deal average at the time of publication 10/05/2022 and rounded up or down to the nearest 1p or £1 as appropriate.

    

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