Energy consumption of household appliances

Energy consumption of household appliances

By: Shell Energy

22 Aug 2020

Managing monthly gas and electric bills is a theme everyone will be familiar with.

A record 5.8 million people switched energy supplier in 2018, which shows the emphasis homeowners place on keeping costs low.

From turning on the washing machine to boiling a kettle, any appliance that needs plugging into a wall consumes energy. But how much electricity does your house use on a daily basis with these items? And how can you save energy and keep the costs down? 

In this guide, we’re giving you the lowdown on energy consumption around the home and how to save money. Find out how much it really costs to do that extra wash or keep the fan running during a heatwave, and get top tips for finding energy-efficient appliances.

How does energy pricing work?

You might be wondering how costing for electrical goods is worked out? Even with a breakdown of costs on your energy bill, it can be hard trying to understand how you’re charged. Generally speaking, electricity measurements are in kilowatts (kWh) per hour, which is the amount of energy you use on an hourly basis. 

The price is then worked out for each kWh used. The actual kWh depends on several factors, such as where you live and the type of energy tariff you have. To give you an idea of the average amount you might pay for energy, we’ve put together a list of the most popular household appliances and how much they cost to run.

How much energy does your home cost per appliance*?

Kettle - 2.5 pence

Who doesn’t love a nice cuppa to settle down in front of the TV with? It turns out that the average kettle holds around 1.5 pints and uses a single unit of electricity. That means you pay about 2.5 pence each time you boil the kettle for a hot brew.

Microwave - 1.3 pence

Microwaves are the quick option when you’re tired after a long day of work and don’t have the energy to cook. But did you know they’re also cheaper to run than a cooker? A typical five-minute microwave uses around 0.8kWh, which amounts to 1.3 pence.

Oven - £0.30p per hour

A fan-assisted oven uses around 2.5kWh per hour, which amounts to £0.30p. Therefore, a two-hour slow roast would cost you around £0.60p. This is considerably more than a microwave, which is faster and cheaper to run.

Fridge-freezer - £0.12 per day

Nevermind how much you spend filling up your fridge with nutritious food; how much does it cost to keep all the grub cold? A 240W fridge-freezer uses around 269kWh per year, which amounts to around £0.12p per day.

Washer dryer £0.80p combined

These days, the majority of washing machines come with a tumble dryer and offer a two-in-one solution. Washing machines cost around £0.50p per load, with tumble dryers cheaper at £0.30p. Therefore, you can expect to pay around £0.80p to wash and dry your clothes.

TV - 2 pence

Sitting with your feet up and streaming a Netflix series – now that’s bliss. And if you’ve got an A-rated energy efficient TV, it will only cost you around £8 per year to run while you enjoy your favourite shows. That’s just two pence per day to watch Tiger King.

Light bulbs - £0.73p

If you leave the lights on for an average of 10 hours per day, you can expect to pay around £0.73p, assuming you’re using a typical 0.6kWh bulb. That works out to roughly 0.1 pence per minute to keep the lights on. Find out more ways to save with energy saving light bulbs.

Fans - £0.10p

If you’re thinking about keeping yourself cool throughout the night with a fan on those warm summer evenings, expect to pay around £0.10p in energy costs for 12 hours.

Air conditioner - £1.20p

Fans are all well and good for temporary fixes, but you’ll need an air conditioning unit if you want to beat the heat completely. However, air con is considerably more expensive to run than a fan, costing around £0.10p per hour. That’s £1.20p for 12 hours.

Computers - £0.22p

The average PC requires 1.3kWh of electricity for three hours, which equates to £0.22p – or around six pence if you’re going by the hour. A laptop is considerably cheaper, however, and costs around 1 pence per day.

Gaming consoles - 2.5 pence

Whether you’re a PlayStation fan or an Xbox lover you can expect to pay, on average, 2.5 pence per hour to power up your favourite games console. However, if you’re rooting for Mario and Nintendo, a Switch is considerably cheaper to keep on, costing just £2 per year to run.

Tips for buying new appliances

It’s easy to get carried away with shiny new appliances for the household, looking out for the latest smart features and stylish designs. But you should also factor in how much these items cost to run on a daily basis so that you can better determine your household outgoings.

When you shop for new appliances – especially white goods – you should look out for the energy efficiency rating. A+++ indicates that the appliance is the most energy-efficient, while D is the worst rating and suggests that the item will be costly to run.

You can see the energy rating on the product page if you’re shopping online and on the appliance itself if you’re purchasing in store. The rating also gives you its yearly kWh, as well as other energy factors related to the appliance.


Keeping an eye on how much energy appliances cost will help you save money around the home. To summarise, we’ve put together a handy list of the most popular appliances from lowest to highest price to run:

Price per minute
  • Air conditioner - 2 pence
  • Kettle - 0.6 pence
  • Washer dryer - 0.6 pence
  • Oven - 0.5 pence
  • Microwave - 0.2 pence
  • Light bulb - 0.1 pence
  • Computer - 0.1 pence
  • Fridge freezer - 0.008 pence
  • Games console - 0.004 pence
  • TV - 0.001 pence
  • Fan - 0.01 pence

*usage costs based on new appliances with an A+++ rating