Eco Happy (Solar Expert)

Published February 23, 2024

Cutting down on your energy bill can be the key to getting more bang for your buck. Something as simple as knowing how much electricity a washing machine uses can help you save thousands in the long haul.

How do you do this? The answer is simple – estimating and understanding appliance energy usage and breaking down the numbers to make informed decisions. From cost calculations to practical game plans for reducing energy expenses, Eco Happy will be your guide for home energy management.

Understanding Energy Usage

Household appliances contribute greatly to your electricity bill because of how much energy they consume and their usage patterns. Did you know that wet appliances (such as washing machines) are the biggest users of energy? They take up about 14% of your electricity costs. Cold appliances take up the second largest amount and use about 13%.

Other appliances, such as consumer electronics and cooking appliances, add about 6%, while lighting takes up to 5% and cooking appliances a mere 4%.

By being more mindful about using certain appliances, you could reduce your overall energy consumption and have lower energy bills. For example, you could wash clothes at lower temperatures, buy energy-saving appliances, and turn off your lights when you’re not in the room. Even something as small as using microwaves instead of ovens would be beneficial.

Why knowing your energy usage matters

Knowing how much your appliances cost to run is important because it educates you to make wiser choices about your electricity usage and utility bills. Every appliance and device in your home, from washing machines to charging your cell phone, contributes to your overall electricity bill every month.

By improving your habits, you can cut back on unnecessary costs. If you want to gain insights into which appliances are the most energy-intensive, you’ll need to monitor and calculate your energy usage. You’re not in this alone, though – we’ll show you how it’s done!

Besides contributing to your cost savings, it will also help the environment by promoting sustainability and reducing energy demand.

Costs are always rising, and managing your energy usage will only benefit your financial savings and the environment.

Estimating Appliance Energy Use

When it comes to determining how much energy common household appliances use, it’s vital to understand the factors that contribute to your overall energy use. The UK’s structure on energy costs is governed by the Energy Price Cap and Energy Price Guarantee. They rely on Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) to ensure fair pricing.

Every two years, these values are determined and provide a glimpse into the average energy consumption of general households. They take into account factors such as size, efficiency, and usage patterns.

To get a better grasp on the energy consumption of appliances, let’s take a look at the common usage patterns and power ratings of some daily household items:

  • Tumble dryer: A single tumble dryer cycle can use about 4.5 kWh.
  • Fridge-freezer: On average, a fridge-freezer consumes about 1 kWh every 26 hours.
  • Electric oven: An electric oven may require around 2 kWh for 30 minutes of use.

Understanding how these figures work will allow homeowners to see where to use some of their appliances less.

Let’s look at the energy usage and estimated costs of three different household appliances. These are general estimates, and the actual costs may vary based on your location and personal usage.

  • Fridge-freezer:
    • Average energy usage: 38 watts
    • Estimated monthly cost (based on 3 hours of daily use): £4.05
  • Electric oven:
    • Average energy usage: 4,000 watts
    • Estimated monthly cost (based on 3 hours of daily use): £16.80
  • Tumble Dryer:
    • Average energy usage: 2,250 watts
    • Estimated monthly cost (based on 3 hours of daily use): £9.45

How much energy do your appliances consume?

Do you have an idea of how much electricity your appliances cost to run yet? If not, we have some examples of power ratings and consumption patterns of common appliances. Let’s explore a few factors that might help you make smart energy choices.

Average power rating and consumption patterns:

  1. Supplementary heating (1,000 – 3,000 watts): 28 to 85 pence per hour
  2. Kettle (2,500 – 3,000 watts): 71 to 85 pence every hour
  3. Grill/oven (2,000 – 2,400 watts): 57 to 68 pence per hour
  4. Microwave (700 – 1,400 watts): 20 to 40 pence per hour
  5. Fridge-freezer (100 – 300 watts): 2.8 to 8.5 pence per hour

Cost Calculations And Estimates

Cost calculations and estimates for monthly and annual expenses can be helpful tools when trying to figure out how much your appliances cost to run. Let’s compare different energy user profiles:

  • Low usage
    • Gas: 7,500 kWh
    • Gas cost: £626
    • Electricity: 1,800 kWh
    • Electricity cost: £687
    • Monthly energy bill: £109
    • Annual energy bill: £1,313
  • Medium usage
    • Gas: 11,500 kWh
    • Gas cost: £902
    • Electricity: 2,700 kWh
    • Electricity cost: £933
    • Monthly energy bill: £153
    • Annual energy bill: £1,835
  • High usage
    • Gas: 17,000
    • Gas cost: £1,281
    • Electricity: 4,100 kWh
    • Electricity cost: £1,316
    • Monthly energy bill: £261
    • Annual energy bill: £2,597

Understanding your energy consumption patterns can help you determine how much electricity you end up saving. The more energy consumed, the higher the running costs.

The following factors play a role in how much energy you end up using:

  • Size of your home: The larger your house, the more heat you will require, leading to increased gas consumption.
  • Number of tenants: The more people you have living in your home, the higher your electricity consumption.
  • Appliance efficiency: Choosing appliances that are efficient in saving energy contributes to you saving more.

The choice between tariff and meter type can also affect your running costs. Here’s how:

  • Fixed tariffs: Fixed tariffs are a very stable option, offering a fixed energy price guarantee and shielding you from market fluctuations.
  • Standard variable: When the market fluctuates, so will your tariffs.
  • Meter types: The time you decide to use your appliances will affect your billing because of time-of-use rates.

Another factor you might not have taken into account is your geographic location. This influences your running costs due to varying network expenses such as energy delivery. Your payment method plays a role as well. Direct debits often result in discounts for paying your monthly bills on time.

Reducing Energy Costs

Who doesn’t like to save money? From small tweaks to smart charging, let’s look at some easy tips to cut back on your running costs.

Simple changes for immediate impact

  • Get yourself a solar power bank to charge your devices. This will save you approximately £10 per year. It might not seem like that much, but if you apply this method to all your devices, it could result in some hefty savings.
  • Keep your tumble dryer filters clean for optimal performance. By doing this, you extend your appliance’s life span and can save up to 30% of its power usage.
  • Install panels behind radiators to prevent heat loss. This can boost your efficiency by up to 20%, reducing your heat expenses.
  • Defrost your freezer regularly. This could save you up to 10% on its energy usage and improve its performance.
  • Steam vegetables in the microwave for faster cooking.
  • Using copper pans and glass dishes to cook makes for quicker cooking times.
  • Use cold water in your washing machine instead of hot water.
  • Set your fridge to holiday mode when you’re away and don’t overfill it.
  • Don’t leave the water running unnecessarily. Save water and heating costs by closing the tap while you’re brushing or shaving.
  • Always choose showers over baths. You could save up to thousands of litres of water annually, reducing heating costs.
  • Turn off the shower while you lather.
  • Use a broom on wooden floors instead of a vacuum. Not only are you saving electricity, but you are also burning calories.

These steps may seem easy, but they’re the first steps to take to save on electricity bills.

Long-term strategies for sustainable savings

  • Your best bet would be to invest in solar power. Solar panels can reduce electricity bills by 50-90% and help you save money.
  • Get home insulation. Explore government programmes that provide financial assistance for insulation improvements. This could cut your heating and cooling costs by 20%
  • Energy-efficient windows can result in 15% in energy savings. Adding window films can also add more insulation.
  • Install a smart meter.
  • Change your lighting options. LED bulbs are known to use 75% less energy than normal bulbs.
  • Join community solar and wind programmes can contribute to sustainable energy use and lower your energy bills.

Energy Efficiency Rating

Have you heard of energy-efficient ratings? Energy efficiency ratings range from A+++ to D. They serve as a compass, helping to guide environmentally conscious consumers. When choosing high-efficiency models, not only does it minimize your carbon footprint but it also contributes to you using less energy, saving the planet’s resources in the long run.

The upfront cost of energy-efficient appliances might give you second thoughts, but it acts more as a long-term investment.

The impact of switching to high-rated appliances might not show immediately; however, it can lead to significant savings annually. You could be saving up to £220 a year when upgrading to these efficient appliances.


What appliances cost the most to run?

Here are some appliances that cost the most to run:

  1. Tumble dryer
  2. Oven
  3. Dishwasher
  4. Heating blanket
  5. Washing machine
  6. Fridges and Fridge freezers
  7. Kettle
  8. Television

What appliances are the cheapest to run?

These appliances are generally the cheapest to run:

  1. Hair dryer
  2. LED light bulbs
  3. Hair straighteners
  4. Toaster
  5. Lawnmower
  6. Microwave
  7. Vacuum cleaner
  8. Laptop


In a world that is fighting climate change, the importance of energy-efficient appliances can’t be overlooked. By making better and informed decisions, you not only cut your costs but actively contribute to a more sustainable environment. The UK government also offers some tips on how to save energy if you need a bit of help.

Take charge of your energy usage today – use energy-efficient appliances, explore the energy price cap, and use government resources for ongoing support on your journey towards a greener lifestyle.

For more tips, guidance, and advice, reach out to the team at Eco Happy.

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