Leaving certain appliances on 'standby' mode can add £110 to your energy bills

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The ongoing energy crisis still shows no sign of letting up and with the colder weather arriving, more suppliers going bust and continued soaring wholesale prices, unfortunately we’re likely to keep seeing increasing energy bills for the foreseeable future.

Naturally, this is also a continued concern for households across the UK and at a time where running an online energy comparison isn’t advised – due to the fact that the best energy deals at the moment can’t better the current price cap – many of us are looking at other ways to bring down costs.

This is where a recent study from British Gas could help, as the supplier has found that a number of household appliances are also contributing to higher energy bills. More importantly though, by being more vigilant with their consumption, British Gas claims that savings of around £110 a year can be made.  

Be wary of standby functions on so-called ‘vampire’ appliances

British Gas’ research into energy use in UK homes saw that up to ‘23 percent’ of our energy bills is wasted electricity from leaving our devices on standby, rather than switching them off completely. The study also showed that ineffective insulation was also partly to blame and collectively it’s believed this equates to £2.2bn of electricity being squandered each year. 

Marc Robson, an energy expert from the supplier, offered these thoughts on the study:

"While colder weather means a rise in bills is inevitable, there are some things we can do to reduce our energy usage at home this winter which will really help the bank balance and the environment.

"Almost a third of total heating costs in the home are wasted through the roof and the walls and with vampire appliances, this figure is almost half of our electricity bills on wasted energy.

"Just switching some of these off can really help save straight away and those with a smart meter will be able to see the impact of this in real-time. ‘Turn it down or turn it off’ is a great motto for fighting the vampires."

The problematic appliances

According to the research the following appliances and devices were the biggest drains on our household energy when left in standby mode:

·      Set-top boxes

·      Modems and routers

·      Televisions

·      Microwaves

·      Games consoles

·      Computers and laptops

·      Smart speakers and smart home devices

·      Electric showers

·      Dishwashers

·      Tumble dryers

·      Washing machines

·      Printers

·      Smartphones and tablets

By simply switching all or some of these off completely, your consumption can be cut down dramatically. You may also want to run your appliances where applicable from multi-function plugs that can allow you to turn off multiple power supplies at once, rather than having to remember to turn these off individually every day.

Other ways we can save on our energy bills

If you want to make additional savings on your energy bills, there are other ways to help reduce your consumption such as these tips we’ve previously put together. Other than this you may wish to apply for schemes such as the Warm Home Discount and the Winter Fuel Payment, but these are subject to eligibility.

As mentioned above, even the best energy suppliers can’t beat the current price cap in terms of cheaper deals, but if you are struggling with your bills, you can also try speaking with your current provider to work out a new payment plan.

Richard Hart

Rich is a freelance copywriter and content strategist with over 10 years' experience. His career has seen him work in-house and in various agencies, producing online and offline content marketing campaigns and copywriting for clients in the energy industry.