Eco Innovation

Home energy advice: save £100s by controlling ‘vampire appliances’

9th November 2023
Paige West

From washing machines and electric cookers, to heating and EV chargers, save £100s every year by making a few simple changes, explains Voltaware CEO Sergey Ogorodnov.

Consumers need to know more about the worst ‘vampire appliances’ in their homes that are pushing up their energy bills unnecessarily. And understand how to make simple changes to their behaviour and use of these common appliances – from washing machines, electric cookers, and heating to electric vehicle (EV) chargers – to save £100s on their annual electricity bill.

With energy bills projected to increase, and Ofgem hiking energy price caps to an annual average of £1,898 next year, controlling the worst vampire appliances in homes is essential. Making a few small changes to your behaviour can save you between ten to thirty per cent a year, or even more, on your energy bills.

A common mistake is to leave appliances on standby, which can lead to massive waste energy costs, even when they are not in use. Our mission at Voltaware is to give consumers easy-to-understand energy insights, such as those below, to help them save money by understanding and controlling their energy use.

For example, our energy experts at Voltaware have identified the following top five worst vampire appliances that are costing UK households considerably more than they should.

Washing appliances

For the average UK household, washing machines cost around £70, tumble dryers £140 and dishwashers £100 every year.

We strongly advise users to switch off these energy-guzzlers when they are left on standby. If you’re not running it, it shouldn’t be running. Additionally, using machines at full capacity, rather than half loads, means fewer cycles and therefore less energy spent. Our experts also recommend using lower temperature cycles, as high temperature cycles are very expensive, where a 10-degree increase can lead to a 25 per cent rise in energy consumption (and an annual £12 extra cost).

Taking these simple steps can save the average household between £30 to £60 a year. Money that can be better spent elsewhere or saved entirely.

Cooking appliances

For the average UK household, the annual use of an electric hob, oven, and microwave – all kitchen essentials – adds up to around £200 a year. However, a huge number of users aren’t optimising their setup with energy-efficient appliances that could easily be saving them up to £40 a year. Slow cookers and air fryers are far cheaper ways to cook than energy-hungry electric ovens, and making small adjustments to cut down on waste usage makes a big net difference.

Electric boilers and water heating

Electric boilers cost UK households anything between £360 to £720 a year, on average, and these costs can be cut down by around 15% by reviewing when you need to be using your boiler. Overall, if you always have hot water at home than you are likely heating more water than you need to.

Is your boiler running when you are out of your home, or on vacation? Is it programmed to run only during off peak times? What temperature is it set to? Without knowing what times your boiler is running at and the best times to use it, you cannot make these vital savings on energy costs.

Electric heaters and space heating

With the winter months approaching, you need to make sure your home heating is running as efficiently as possible. Electric heaters cost the average UK household anything up to £1,200 a year, and many could be saving at least £200 per year by ensuring heat isn’t being wasted.

Making sure that homes are draught-proofed and insulated is a simple step to keeping the heat in, so your heater doesn’t need to work as hard. It’s also essential to review your thermostat settings to run your heating at an optimal temperature only when it’s needed. And to make sure that you aren’t leaving your heating on where it isn’t needed – for an empty room, or even a vacated house over the holidays. And, once again, don’t forget to switch off standby!  

EV (electric vehicle) chargers

EV chargers have a massive energy impact, with the average EV owner spending around £1,750 every year. Charging a car is always going to be a major cost, but one that can be mitigated through these simple steps that many owners don’t think to take.

For example, costs can be cut by charging to around 80% rather than a full charge, and then using chargers at off-peak hours – from 23:30 to 05:30 – when drivers are unlikely to be needing their cars. Limiting EV fast charging, which can add to bills, is another way to cut back on the cost of charging your car.

EVs will always be a massive contributor to your electricity bills, but these are the ways to cut back and ensure you’re not overspending year on year. Making these simple changes to their behaviour could save the average EV owner between £175 and £350 a year.

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