energy usage in the home

What uses the most electricity in your home?

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Saving Energy

Do you know what appliances use the most electricity in your home? Are you doing the right things to reduce your energy usage? Whether you have solar panels installed or not everyone can reduce their energy bills by knowing what the power guzzlers are.

How much power are my appliances using?

Although not a comprehensive list this will give you an idea of the comparative energy consumption of some of the commonly used electric appliances in your home.

  • Kettle 3000W
  • Immersion heater 3000W
  • Tumble dryer 3000W
  • Electric fire 2500W
  • Oil-filled radiator 2500W
  • Washing machine 2100W
  • Electric oven 2100W
  • Grill/hob 1500W
  • Iron 1400W
  • Dishwasher 1250W
  • Deep fryer 1200W
  • Toaster 1100W
  • Microwave 1050W
  • Electric mower 1000W
  • Hairdryer 1000W
  • Electric drill 950W
  • Vacuum cleaner 950W
  • Plasma TV 350W
  • Towel rail 250W
  • Heating blanket 200W
  • LCD TV 150W
  • Freezer 150W
  • Games console 115W
  • Desktop computer 110W
  • Video, DVD or CD 100W
  • Fridge 75W
  • Laptop35W
  • TV box 30W
  • Broadband router 10W

As well as the energy rating you have to take into consideration the length of time something is used for. Whilst a kettle uses a lot of electricity, around 3kW, it only does so for minutes at a time. A washing machine may use less, around 2.1kW, but a typical wash cycle may take 90 minutes.

Keep an eye on the big power hogs

If you are taking a 10 minute power shower every day then it is costing you between £70-£90 a year just on the cost of electricity. A power shower will also use about 150 litres of water for a 10 minute shower.

It may not be practical to replace your power shower or you may not want to. Simply by reducing the temperature of the shower or cutting down the time spent showering by a few minutes can knock 20% of your costs.

If you shower whilst the sun is up your solar panels will provide a chunk of the energy needed to power your power shower.

High drain tumble drying

Most vented tumble dryers will use a large amount of energy as they use a heating element to warm the clothes and thus dry them. The more modern condensor dryers use heat pumps that use less power, typically 600 to 800 watts compared around 3000 watts for a non-heat pump dryer.

A condensing tumble dryer will use less energy and therefore reduce yours bills whether you have solar or not. They are however more suited to homes fitted with solar as they use less power and so are more able to use the free solar energy and are much less likely to need to draw on power from the grid compared to a conventional dryer.

All the small things

There are a lot of devices in the home that whilst they do not drain that, whilst they do not drain that much energy, they are on all of the time. Devices such as broadband routers are designed to be left on 24 hours a day, this is about the equivalent of boiling the kettle to make 2 cups of tea.

If you add up all the small devices that drain power constantly then it can add up so it is worth checking whether or not you need them on all of the time.

“With solar panels installed the daytime power generated would easily cover these small devices even in winter.”


Know how much you are using

Hopefully you will be more aware of how much energy typical household appliances and devices use. Knowing what are the highest drain devices are means that you know which ones you need to be more aware of when using them.

If you want to go a step further then a plug in power meter can accurately measure how much energy each device uses. A plug in power monitor plugs into a wall socket and you plug the appliance into the power monitor. Your appliance will continue to work as normal but now you can see exactly how much energy it uses.

Posted by

Green technologies advocate and energy saving hero. I'm a geek when it comes to new technologies that reduce energy consumption and save money on bills. Many people think of the environment as an external thing that somebody else is responsible for rather than the place you actually live in. The cleaner and healthier our environment is the healthier and happy we are.

1 Comment so far


    Right from when we had our solar panels installed (over 2 years now) we purchased 2 small energy meters from B&Q, total cost just under £50, they are wireless so the the meters sit in the kitchen and the sender units are in the meter cupboard, they each have a clip that you can attach one to the main cable that leads to your electricity meter and one to the cable that comes from the control board for the solar panels, you then get instant read outs on the meters of what you are using and what you are producing you can then better balance one against the other, I feel that by seeing what is happening I have increased the amount I save and I am sure the meters have paid for themselves, the meters by the way are battery powered.

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