Energy bills: Save £147 a year on your bills by switching off ‘vampire appliances’


Whether you call them vampire or ghost appliances, they can still consume a significant amount of electricity even when you’re not using them, according to British Gas. In fact, they can cost each household up to £12 a month, or £2.2billion a year across the UK. Any device left plugged into the wall but not turned off will be guilty of silently using power, including smart speakers, laptops, and internet routers.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) said consumers need to think about which appliances they leave on.

He estimates households would save around £55 a year by switching off all their appliances when not in use.

Brian Horn, senior insight and analytics consultant at EST, said there were practical things consumers could do.

He said, “If something doesn’t need to be turned on, then you should turn it off at the wall or unplug it.

“Everything else, just try to make it as simple as possible to turn it off.

“If you make sure the outlet is accessible, you can just turn it off, so you don’t have to unplug it.

“But if you have a whole bunch of stuff plugged in behind your TV, you might want to plug them all into one extension cord.”

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A 54% increase in the energy price cap means a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity will now pay £1,971 a year.

Of course, turning off all the appliances may not be practical – after all, the fridge and freezer must remain on or the food will spoil.

Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that modern appliances and appliances are generally much more energy efficient than older ones, which may only add small amounts to the total energy bill.

Yet with skyrocketing costs, every little bit counts. So here are the worst offenders you should disable.

Television – £21.61

A TV is one of the most energy-hungry appliances in the home when left on standby.

A TV uses 40 watts of energy when in use, but still needs 10 watts when in standby.

British Gas research suggests that over 60% of households leave their televisions on standby for an average of 20 hours a day.

Decoder – £23.10

A decoder is a great way to make sure you don’t miss your favorite programs if you’ve been away.

But if the device is not used while in sleep mode, it could lead to additional costs on your energy bills.

It is estimated that 87% of families do not turn off their decoders.

On average, households leave their set-top boxes on standby for almost 20 hours a day, costing £23.10 a year.

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Internet Router – £18.89

It can be handy to leave the router or modem on so Brits can access the internet at all times, but it adds £18.89 to electricity bills a year.

More than 90% of households told British Gas they leave their routers plugged into walls at home.

By turning it off completely before bed or before going on vacation, many could save money on their energy bill.

Microwave – £16.37

Turning off the microwave after each use is another way to save money.

Households leave their microwaves on standby for a total of 23 hours a day on average, at an additional cost of £16.37 per year.

Energy Saving Trust also states that a microwave is one of the appliances that will “draw electricity” when left on standby.

British Gas energy expert Marc Robson recommends switching appliances off when not in use, such as at night, and not leaving them plugged in longer than necessary, for example when fully charged .

He said: ‘At night or when not in use, try switching devices off from the mains rather than going to sleep, as even the standby light on a TV uses power.

“Try not to unnecessarily overload your mobile phone and laptop.

“As soon as your device is charged, try to get into the habit of unplugging it.

“Not only will this save power, but it will also extend battery life.

“A smart meter’s home display can help identify how much energy is being used at different times of the day, so you can see where the energy is wasted.”


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