Energy bills: The energy guzzlers to ditch now to save hundreds

Energy bills: Martin Lewis discusses standing charges

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While new Prime Minister Liz Truss handed a lifeline to many this week when she announced energy bills will go no higher than £2,500, struggling Britons will still be facing an energy bill that is nearly triple what it was last winter. Although it’s not a magic wand, there are some things people can do to ensure they use as little energy as possible which could lead to big savings. has looked into the biggest energy guzzlers and come up with some simple swaps so people can see what could be burning a hole in their pocket.

When it comes to which appliances around the home use the most energy, the three main culprits tend to be central heating, tumble dryers and electric ovens.

Many Britons have been talking about not switching the heating on this winter and are considering snuggling under an electric blanket instead.

Experts at SleepSeeker said: “Running a 100W electric blanket will cost you around 42p a night (based on eight hours of use).”

That’s three times less than the estimated £1.28 it costs to run electric central heating and a staggering 16 times less than gas central heating which could set billpayers back around £6.72 if not more.

Tumble dryers cost around £2.90 per cycle so it goes without saying that it’s best to not use them unless absolutely necessary.

However, many people will have an electric oven in the kitchen and will not want to go without hot food.

Swapping to a slow cooker could save £40 a month and they can be purchased for as little as £13. 

Charity Homeless in Teignbridge Support found a 160W slow cooker can be used for 15 hours and 42 minutes for the same energy usage as one hour with a standard electric oven.

Are air fryers cheaper to run? 

Research by Utilita and Iceland found whereas an average electric cooker costs 87p to run per day, an air fryer is six times cheaper at just 14p per day.
Air fryer prices start at £20 so it might be a worthwhile investment this winter.

Meanwhile, American style fridge freezers are huge electricity guzzlers – one dad told how he shaved £625 off his energy bill by updating this one appliance. has compiled an extensive list of how much each appliance in your home costs to use – from the kettle to the oven.

It shows an electric drying rack costs 12 pence for 45 minutes in comparison to the tumble dryer which costs £1.56 for an hour.

Joanna O’Loan, knowledge manager at Energy Saving Trust said it pays to consider which appliance to use when cooking.

She told “Around 4 percent of your energy bill is spent on powering kitchen appliances, including the hob, oven, kettle and microwave.

“Microwaves are more efficient than ovens at cooking, as they only heat the food and not the air space inside. An electric oven is the most energy-intensive way of cooking. However, you can also fit a lot of food in an oven – so consider cooking and preparing in batches to reduce costs.”

She continued: “Lighting makes up approximately 5% of total bill of typical dual fuel household. Energy efficient lighting helps lower electricity bills and carbon dioxide emissions, all without reducing the quality of light in our homes. Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs last five times longer than traditional halogen bulbs and use 80% less energy to produce the same amount of light so it’s worth making the switch.”

Ms O’Loan added that it was also important to consider how much people use the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer because 14 percent of a typical households energy bill comes from these.

She said: “Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than at higher temperatures will save around 57 percent of the energy used from this appliance each year for an average household. Waiting until you have a full load for your washing machine and dishwasher will also save energy and money. Where possible also avoid using a tumble dryer for your clothes and dry clothes on racks inside in a well ventilated room where possible or outside in dry weather.”

Meanwhile, the main energy companies do have energy bills support schemes in place for people who are struggling to make ends meet.

The following energy suppliers offer an energy bills support scheme (H3)

  • British Gas Energy Support Fund – apply for a grant on the British Gas Energy Trust website
  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund – apply for a grant on the Scottish Power Hardship Fund website
  • Ovo Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the Ovo Energy Fund website
  • E.ON Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the E.ON Energy Fund website
  • E.ON Next Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the E.ON Next Energy Fund website
  • EDF Energy Customer Support Fund – sign up to the priority services register to apply for a grant on the EDF Energy website
  • Bulb Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the Bulb Energy Fund website
  • Octopus ‘Octo Assist Fund’ – apply for a grant on the Octopus website.

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