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Electricity. We need it for more than we may realise. Ever had a powercut and suddenly realised that you can’t boil the kettle or charge your phone? You may panic that the food in the freezer will go off, but you can’t turn your electric oven on either. A shower is out of the question if you have one that requires electricity to heat the water rather than gas. Yes, we do need electricity for more aspects of our lives than we realise, but all this energy usage can come at a price.
Whether you’re trying to reduce the amount of energy you use at home or you’re simply curious about how much electricity different appliances require, this guide reveals everything you need to know.
The following appliances have been listed in order of their electricity usage, from the highest to the lowest.1. Electric shower
You may be surprised to see that an electric shower has topped our list of most energy-consuming appliances, but it takes a lot of energy to heat the water and could use 1,460 kWh in a year.
Electric showers are sized in kilowatts (kW). Generally, a smaller property will have a 7.5 to 8.5 kW shower, whereas bigger homes can have up to a 10.5 kW appliance. A 10 kW shower uses approximately one kWh of energy in six minutes. As an example, if you take the average-sized UK household of four people and assume that everyone is having one six-minute shower per day, you could be using four kWh of energy per day, or 1,460 kWh in a year. This is a large percentage of your energy bill, and you may be able to reduce costs by encouraging shorter or less frequent showers (such as every other day, for instance).
2. Tumble dryer
You may be surprised to learn that a tumble dryer is the second top appliance that uses the most electricity in a year. It consumes approximately 675 kilowatt hours (kwH) per year, costing around £90 per year to run. But this is relatively good news. It’s easy to reduce your electricity consumption by hanging your washing out to dry instead. If a path or patio is dry, then your washing should dry too, even if it’s relatively cold outside.
3. Plasma TV
With the average Brit spending over three hours per day watching TV, it’s worth considering how much this form of entertainment could cost you in electricity. Plasma TVs use a huge amount of electricity, however more modern LED TVs use considerably less and often have smart functions built in to improve efficiency.
A plasma TV uses slightly less energy per year than a tumble dryer at 658 kWh. This is based on average usage, and therefore how much or little time you spend watching TV could affect this usage.
However, it’s worth considering that LED TVs use significantly less than this at around 119 kWh. In order to further reduce the energy consumption of your television, you may want to consider turning it off completely rather than leaving it on standby and looking for an ‘eco’ setting that could improve the efficiency further.
4. Kitchen Appliances
Your kitchen appliances use a large percentage of your total electrical energy, and the dishwasher, fridge/freezer, washing machine, oven and hob were all in the top 10 appliances that use the most electricity. You can find their exact electricity consumption below.
kWh per year
Cooker with electric hob
Oven (without hob)
The average fridge freezer uses around 425 kWh of electricity per year, however, if you have a particularly large fridge or a separate fridge and freezer, this figure could increase. Based on the figure above, your fridge could be using approximately 1.2 kWh of electricity per day.
Brits love a cup of tea, but all that kettle boiling could result in lots of electricity usage. In fact, the kettle uses approximately 165 kWh per year.
Generally, it costs around two pence to boil a kettle that’s half full and four pence to boil a full kettle. As most people in the UK drink up to four cups of tea a day, you could be spending between eight and 16 pence in total. If you’re making a cup of tea for two people, it’s much better to only fill the kettle with as much water as you need. As you can see, filling the kettle to the top can double your energy usage, taking your average annual kettle bill from £29 up to £58, which is quite a substantial amount.
According to the Energy Savings Trust report, the following appliances use the least electricity:
kWh per year
*Data comes from the Energy Savings Trust’s report and is correct as of March 2021.