Where to save energy: appliances

As price rises drive people to look for ways to save energy, it pays to know which appliances use the most power. If you know what’s most expensive to run, you know what to switch off! This chart from Bloomberg is a neat visual summary of how much it costs to use various appliances, in a typical day:

As you can clearly see, heating is the killer. If you want to reduce those costs, you can do the obvious things like turning down the thermostat and putting a jumper on – but you do that anyway, right? The big difference will come from adding insulation so that your house stays warmer for longer, making better use of the energy that you use in heating. Loft insulation and cavity-wall insulation are the big ones. Draught-proofing is quick and cheap. And adding thermal curtain linings on windows can make a difference too.

There are also a handful of other potential savings in that list. If you can cook less with the hob or the oven, and more with the microwave, that will definitely add up. You could boil the kettle and wash up the old fashioned way, and let the £1 saving motivate you. Hanging the laundry on the line is even better, and I spy a great excuse not to do any ironing.

The most frequently heard advice on energy saving is to switch off lights when you leave a room – which is great, but is only going to save pennies.

We’re all going to have to think about our energy use carefully in the coming months. And every little saving that we make will reduce carbon emissions too.


Published by Jeremy Williams

Jeremy is an author and activist based in Luton. He writes serious books for adults, less serious books for children. His blog, The Earthbound Report, has been recognised as the best green blog in the UK by Vuelio and the UK Blog Awards.

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