Appliances on stand-by cost households £86 a year

We spend £1.3bn a year on stand-by energy

Powering the nation story

British households are paying up to £86 a year in energy costs for appliances left on stand-by, according to a new study.

The study by DEFRA, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Energy Saving Trust, called ‘Powering the Nation – household energy using habits uncovered’, reveals the day-to-day use of appliances in the UK and the energy they use.

You can find out how much different appliances and TVs cost to run – plus the difference between the best and worst models available – using the Which? energy running costs calculators.

16% of energy used on stand-by 

The new study shows that our appliances are costing us £1.3bn in stand-by energy costs, with 16% of domestic power now being used when products are effectively not being used.

The study also reveals how often we use our appliances. TV watching is on the rise – we now watch 10bn more hours of TV per year than was previously assumed. This increase adds up to an extra £205m in energy costs.

Two can live as cheaply as one

The study found that single-person household numbers have risen from 7m in 2000 to 7.5m in 2010, or 29% of all households. For cooking and laundry appliances, single-person households used as much energy as a typical family unit, and sometimes more.

Which? home editor Natalie Hitchins said: ‘We know how important energy use is for consumers. That’s why we’ve created our Which? energy costs calculators and why we test products for energy use as well as how well they work and how easy they are to use.’

Energy and appliance use from 251 households was used to compile the data used in the Powering the Nation study.

More on this…

  • Find out how much your appliances cost to run with our energy costs calculators
  • Discover how much energy your appliances use with a Best Buy energy monitor
  • Find a cheaper energy deal with Which? Switch
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