Energy bill warning over 7 vampire appliances as snow hits and temperatures drop | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS should beware of the seven vampire appliances sucking energy and upping your bills all while not in use.

Experts warn that leaving everyday items on standby could be adding hundreds to your energy bills unnecessarily.

These common so-called 'vampire' devices include microwaves, TVs and game consoles.

Putting your heating on will be a priority as snow continues to blanket the country and chilly conditions remain on the cards – so it's important to cut your energy bills in other areas.

Most will not make a vast difference to a household bill but some could cost users hundreds of pounds per year.

Between 9% and 16% of all the electricity consumed in every household is used to power appliances while in standby mode, according to Energy Saving Trust.


Full list of major energy suppliers paying you to turn off appliances tonight

Full list of postcodes due £25 cold weather payments direct to bank accounts

The easiest way to stop these gadgets from leaching money from your pocket is to avoid standby mode where possible.

And turning off your devices at the switch may seem time-consuming but it could save you considerable amounts in the long term.

Here are some of the common appliances or gadgets that could be taking a bite out of your energy bills and how much it costs to keep them switched on.

We've also listed the major energy-guzzling appliances around the home and how to cut costs – even if you can't afford to turn them off.

Most read in Money


Full list of postcodes due £25 cold weather payments direct to bank accounts


Does my employer have to pay me if I can’t get to work due to snow?


Major clothing brand plunges into administration putting 180 stores at risk


Massive blow to Brits as strikes threaten Christmas booze shortage

Vampire devices


It can be easy to forget to switch off the telly in the evening.

But it can mean that its eating up 19% of your total electricity bill.

Experts warn that leaving everyday items like this on – known as the "vampire" or "phantom" load – could be adding as much as £500 a year to your energy bills unnecessarily.

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

The average television uses 40 watts of energy when it's being used and 10 watts when it's sitting in standby mode.

And more than 60% of households leave their TV on standby for an average of 20 hours every day, according to research by British Gas.

Making sure you turn it off could save you £24.61 a year.


Your Sky box could be pushing your bills up your bills if you choose to leave it on standby overnight.

And it's estimated that households pay £23 a year alone to keep their box on standby, according to British Gas.

But beware that if you do turn off your device at the switch, it won't record any shows while it's turned off.

Games consoles

Your Xbox and Playstation use 130 and 120 watts respectively when they’re in use.

But these consoles still eat up 10 watts when they’re on standby.

It's estimated that households can save an average of £12.17 per year by switching off their game consoles when not in use.


Keeping your computer switched on or on standby could be wasting money.

Loop estimates that failing to turn your computer off could cost you an extra £95 a year.

Other costly vampire devices

Other devices that drain energy while plugged in include:

  • Hi-Fi systems – £142.50 a year
  • Printers – £19.50 a year
  • WiFi router – £18.89 a year
  • Microwave – £16.37 a year

Turning gadgets off at the mains can help fight these stealthy costs.

Energy guzzling appliances

Some household appliances are driving up your bills – and you could save yourself hundreds by making some simple tweaks to the way you're using them.

Washing machine

It is estimated that the typical UK household does 270 loads of washing a year. If each load takes an average of one hour, then this puts the annual cost of running your washing machine at £131.04.

But reducing your washing temperature to 30°C could save you £13 a year while cutting further to 20°C could shave £24 off your annual bill. 

Uswitch energy expert Will Owen told The Sun: "Use a cold water or 30°C cycles where possible.

"It's only for particularly dirty clothes, bad stains or underwear that you are likely to need warmer temperatures."

In fact, you could even go lower than 30°Cto save more cash and you'll still get a good wash.

Most models of washing machine now come with an eco-mode that can be used to save the environment – and some cash.

This setting will use less water and means you'll use less energy to heat it when washing your clothes.

Fridge freezers

Appliances which use energy to cool things – like fridges and freezers – could be proving to be expensive too.

The average fridge freezer uses 166 kWh of energy per year, working out at a cost of £77 a year, according to Uswitch.

While it isn't realistic to turn off your fridge and freezer, there are things you can do to get them working more efficiently.

Keep your fridge freezer clean to save £45 a year – dust on the condenser coils can reduce the efficiency by as much as 25% says Which?.

Failing to defrost it for instance could be adding on an extra £150 a year.

The frost buildup increases the amount of work your freezer's motor has to do.

Placing a fridge freezer in a cool and ventilated area will mean it uses around 216kWh less energy a year – saving you around £60.


The average dishwasher uses between 1.2kWh and 1.5kWh per load, according to research by Compare The Market.

And according to Energy Saving Trust, your dishwasher contributes to 8% of your overall electricity bill.

But there are still ways to cut dishwasher costs.

Your normal dishwasher setting is usually set at a temperature of between 55ºC and 65ºC.

An eco wash or energy saving setting generally uses around 20% to 40% less energy, according to Which?.

They generally run at 45ºC to 50ºC, which means it's cheaper to run but still gets your dishes clean.

These settings usually use less water too, but run for longer than a standard wash.

According to Bosch, using eco-mode compared to the auto programme will save you around 523 kWh of energy over a year.

One kWh of electricity currently costs 28p – so that's a saving of £146.44 over a year.


The nation's love of brews could be costing us a lot.

Kettles – along with other kitchen appliances like cookers and blenders – account for 19% of the average home's energy use.

Overfill it and you're boiling more water than you need to, costing extra energy and crucially money.

Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at, said: "When making a cup of tea, only fill your kettle with as much water as you need for the number of drinks you are making.

"The more water is in the kettle, the longer it will take to get to the right temperature and the more power it will be using."

Read More on The Sun

Warning for millions of Ring doorbell owners over cold weather and snow today

I’m a mum & can’t be bothered with Christmas dinner…I’ll go to McDonald’s

The exact amount you can save depends on your how much you pay for energy and how many cuppas you have each day – the more you drink the more you stand to save.

Simply take the mug you're using and fill that with water before pouring it into the kettle, that way you know you're only paying to boil what you actually use.

Source: Read Full Article