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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

How much are your appliances costing you to run.



8 months ago my partner lost his job. The boss lied about the reason why and the job center sanctioned our benefits. We were living off £25 a week, barely enough to put gas and electric on let alone feed 2 adults and 2 children. I'm very lucky that i have an amazing mother in law who helps out where she can and my mum and dad have never seen us without. Im quite stubborn and rarely ask for help though so even though it was a struggle, these basic things kept us going. I started to check my electric meter every day and working out how much i was spending a day so i could cut down on unnecessary spending. We had £4 a week for electric and it had to without fail last!

Working out your cost:

Im with SSE so ill use them as an example. I'm also on pre payment so i do have a daily standing charge which is higher than paying by direct debit. They also supply both my gas and electric so i get a tiny discount. 

Terms: 
A kwh = killowatt- hour, its the term used to measure energy

Im averaging it out at 1000 watts per hour which = 1kwh

Price per kwh = 13.47 (Just under 14p per Kwh)
Standing charge = 27.41 (its costing me just under 25p a day for the privilege of pay as you go! Rip off right! Standing charges apply to both pre paid and bills via direct debit, although direct debit is a cheaper standing charge.)

My day rate for electric is - 16. 07
My night rate is - 7.54 

*must add this is no difference to paying via direct debit. I'm charged the same*

Everyone is fully aware that it is much cheaper to run their electric in the evening. In my case its near enough a 9p difference. 

I also must add this is what was explained to me by 3 members of the SSE team. Im not an expert but they put it in simpler terms for me. 

Im using this site  below for the benefit of this post. You can check out your own appliances by finding you energy supplier on the drop down list. All you need is the wattage of your item and you can check for a rough estimate on how much it costs per hour or minute to use. You can also buy plug ins which give you an exact amount for each appliance you use. 


Here is the most common used items in my household: 
  • Kettle - 2.87p (0.96p per min) each time i boil it
I have a cheap kettle from Tesco. It is 2200 watts and takes around 3 mins to boil. The minimum level for my kettle is around 2 cups. In order to make one cup of tea i have to boil water i dont need. 
  • Washing machine - Quick spin - 28.71p , full wash - 57.42p
My washing machine is 1100 watts with a full cycle taking around 2 hours and a quick wash at just over an hour. 
  • Slow cooker - 4.44p an hour
There is much more efficient slow cookers. I recently had to buy a new one and settled on a 3L cheap one from Tesco for £12. 
  • Cooker (electric) - 54.81p per hour
The cost obviously depends on your oven but mines around 2100 watts according to the manual. It costs around 1p a minute to use the grill. 
  • Electric hob - 7.83p for 10 mins on the largest ring
We only use the largest ring and the medium sized ring. Ill break down the cost per ring though - for an average of 10 mins usage. 
- Largest ring - 7.83p 
- Medium sized ring - 5.22p
- Smallest ring - 3.05p
  • Shower (electric) - 46.98p for a 15 minute shower
My shower is 7.52 KW. We maybe spend a little under 15 minutes having a daily shower. 
  • Xbox 360 - 2.35p an hour 
We typically only use this for around 2 hours a day, occasionally. My eldest listens to music on it and will sometimes watch a film on lovefilm Its rare any of us sit down for hours on it to play a game. (different xbox consoles vary)
  • The Nintendo Wii - 0.36p an hour
This is the most used console in the house. I love the wii and am partial to sitting on zelda for hours at a time. Its also connected to out main tv so we use it for catch up, netflix etc. 
  • TV - 2.87p an hour
Our tv is a bog standard 32 inch tv at 110 watts. 
  • Fridge freezer - around £30-£40 a year
This ones slightly more difficult to explain as its on constantly, you cant turn it off and because of that they dont use alot of electricity at all. Most fridge freezers use around 4p an hour to run. 
  • Microwave - 2.39p for 5 mins
Mines a standard 1100 watt microwave. 
  • 3 tier steamer - 6.96p per hour 
Based on an 800w steamer from Tesco
  • Desktop computer with monitor - 3.39p an hour 
My computer is pretty much on all day, someone in the house will be using it. 
  • Laptop computer - 2.35p an hour
Based on the one i borrow being a 90w adaptor. 
  • Light bulb - 2.5p an hour
Bog standard 100w light bulb
  • Mobile phone chargers - minimal
It really isnt worth putting a set amount. Over the course of a year, charging your phone once a day will cost roughly £3-£4 a year. 
  • Sky + box - 1.17p per hour when on
Sky do not disclose how much the sky + box costs while in standby mode. I suspect its less than when on. The sky box is on when my tv is on, so if i use a weekend for example. Its on pretty much between 9am and 10pm meaning its costing me near on 14p a day to run. 
  • Router - 1-2p a day
Pretty minimal to be honest. I wouldn't advise turning it off at night.  


Saving money

Obviously these figures are based on my usage and my energy supplier. I was quite surprised to see some of the figures though. Its defiantly made me more aware of things being used at the wrong times, things being left on when not needed. These are some things I've changed and noted over 2 whole weeks. 
  • I use my slow cooker much more than my oven. 
Just cooking a joint of meat in my slow cooker is saving me near enough £1.30 a time. I cook 2 joints of meat a week meaning im saving £2.60 in electric! 
- Joint in the oven for 4 hours = £2.20
- Joint in the slow cooker for 8 hours = around 40p
  • I washing clothes after 7pm when the cost of electric is much cheaper for me. 
  • We have started having showers in the evening rather than 1st thing in the morning
  • I switched to using a flask for coffee and a teapot for tea
Unless Gareth home, I'm boiling water unnecessarily because the minimum level of my kettle is 2 cups. As i drink around 8 cups of tea a day, it is costing me a little under 24p a day to boil my kettle. Thats not including when i need water for cooking or cleaning the floor. I can get roughly 2-3 cups of tea out of a medium sized tea pot meaning im boiling my kettle less. Just boiling it every 2 cups instead of every 1 is saving me 15p a day. Over the course of a week that = £1.05
  • Sky box is unplugged at night.
I know its frowned upon and sky do updates etc in the middle of the night, but on top of my monthly £27 bill I'm also paying an extra £4.20 roughly just leaving it on. When im skint, this £4 makes a huge difference. 
  • No telly during the day. 
During the day its just me, the kids are at school and Gareth's at work or asleep. The computer is usually on so whether im on it or not, rather than switch another appliance on i just stick the radio on and listen to it through the computer. 

The obvious tips:
  • Dont leave things on standby
  • Dont leave lights on around the house
  • If you use your oven, double it up to cook more - maybe cook the next days dinner at the same time if it can be eaten cold.
Hopefully this helps folk a little bit. Energy costs are getting higher and likely to go up in the near future. Anything that can be saved is money in your pocket not theirs! 

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