Overfilling kettles costs Britain £68m a yearReport offers advice on saving energy and water

05 July 2013

Washing machine against a green background

Britons are adding to their energy bills by failing to use household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and kettles efficiently, according to a new report.

The report by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) states that three quarters of households boil more water than they need when using a kettle, costing Britain £68m a year.

Which? kettles expert Matt Clear said: 'Boiling two cups of water in a kettle when you only need one not only uses around 64% more energy according to our testing, it also takes around 62% longer. That's why we always take the minimum amount the kettle can boil into account when rating a kettle.'

See our list of the best energy-saving kettles for kettles that can help you save electricity and time.

Saving money on your washing machine

While most people usually wash their clothes at 40°C, only a quarter typically use a 30°C setting.

We've found in our tests that washing at 30°C will save you between £8 and £18 per year compared with washing at 40°C. Using a should get you nearly the same cleaning results, too, although we recommend you wash bedding and towels at 60°C.

It's also important to make sure that you have an efficient washing machine. The washing machines we’ve tested have annual running costs that vary from £13 to £50 - a difference that will add up over the years, so take a look at our Best Buy washing machines.

Dishwasher vs washing by hand

The report found that the average British household washes dishes by hand 10 times a week, but only uses the dishwasher three times a week. 

Larger households could actually make greater energy and water savings by using an efficient, modern dishwasher rather than washing by hand.

We've put together a dishwasher energy costs tool that shows how much a dishwasher will cost to run over its lifetime, as well as what it costs to buy, so you can get a true picture of which are the best-value dishwashers.

More on this...

  • Find a fast, quiet, energy-efficient kettle by reading our kettle reviews
  • Discover the dishwashers that can remove tough stains with ease in our dishwasher reviews
  • We test models from Hotpoint, Bosch, Miele and more in our washing machine reviews