H.How much does it cost to charge your phone or toothbrush? Is it really cheap to cook in the microwave as suggested? Electricity bills weigh on all finances and homes are full of tech So I decided it was time to see how much power our everyday devices really consume.
We are constantly told that electrical appliances of all kinds gnaw at electricity and that turning off the “vampire device” on the wall can save a lot of money. But is it really true? To cut through the chaos and get to know myself, I picked up a power meter and spent the last two months testing everything I could.
Some devices gain notoriety for good reason, gurgling electricity like nobody’s business. Some older Wi-Fi routers fall into that category, and my testing suggests that you may be paying more than you think to watch TV. I was also surprised by the usage fee for the dryer. However, we found the other devices to be reassuringly frugal.
Some manufacturers provide power consumption figures for their products. Others output the maximum amount of power the device can use in watts (W) at the plug.
It’s easy to measure your electricity usage with a simple wattmeter. They cost less than £20, can be inserted between a device and a power socket and typically measure from 0.5W. What you find may surprise you.
To convert watts to kilowatt hours (kWh), the unit of energy used to measure consumption, simply divide by 1,000 and multiply by the number of hours of use.
Here are the pros, cons and ugliness from my research.
According to my testing, many of the technologies created in the last five years are fairly energy efficient, consuming less than 0.5W in standby mode. Probably much less.
This included TVs, monitors, smart kettles, smart light bulbs, Xbox game consoles, smart hubs for lights and thermostats, and many other devices including chargers for various phones, tablets and laptops. rice field.
But what stood out was my 10 year old panasonic microwaveThis consumed 2W when doing nothing but displaying the time.
Wirelessly connected systems typically consume a little more. Sonos speakerConnected to each other and connected to the internet via Wi-Fi consumed 1W to 3W (£3 to £9 per year) of power in standby, depending on age.
Smart speakers were energy efficient. Amazon’s Echo Dot with Clock When google nest mini It consumes less than 0.5W when idle, and consumes just 2.3-4W (less than 0.13p per hour) when playing music at full volume.
LED smart bulbs are also pretty efficient, consuming about 6W (0.17p per hour) when maxed out. This is about the same as non-smart light bulbs.
Charging portable electronic devices is generally low cost. Smartphones typically cost less than a penny on a full charge. iPad Air costs about 1.4p, 14-inch MacBook Pro, a full backup takes 3.4p.a philips electric toothbrush The annual electricity bill is less than 3 pence.
Also, modern set-top boxes consume very little power.up to date Apple TV 4K When Sky’s New Stream Box Standby power consumption is less than 0.5W, while watching movies consumes 0.07p and 0.14p per hour respectively.old boxes such as Sky Qit consumes about 12W (0.4p per hour) when watching TV, but less than 0.5W when you are in deep sleep all night and not recording or updating.
Generally speaking, if your device has a screen or emits light, it consumes more power. Google’s 7-inch Nest Hub It consumes about 2.7W (0.09p per hour) when displaying photos and takes about 1.5pa days to stay plugged in. Amazonis greater than echo show 10 Running costs are just under fourpence a day.
my 28 inch 4K Asus computer monitor The usage fee is just over 1 pence per hour. But my TV produced one of the biggest surprises him.my mid range 55 inch LG OLED TV Watching HD content costs 2.2p per hour. However, once you start watching HDR content and games, the charge increases to about 3.3 pence per hour.
of Xbox consumes about 6p an hour when gaming, but less than 10p an hour with a TV, much cheaper than a gaming PC.
However, using a console such as an Xbox for streaming TV can cost you about two pence an hour and add up quickly.
Another surprise is the amount of power Wi-Fi routers consume. Some older models consume as much as 18W (£53 a year).more modern Linksys Velop MX5300 The ones I use are around 10W and cost £29.78 per unit per year in electricity. Turning off the internet to save power is probably not practical, but asking your provider for a newer, more efficient model could save you some money.
In my testing, anything that heats up or moves was the most power-hungry consumer of almost any household appliance.
Cooking is expensive, but the oven is one of the most expensive. A fan oven at 200°C will cost about 45-55p per hour.
my 850W microwave oven It costs about 40p an hour to run, but the food cooks fairly quickly. However, gas stoves are still cheap to use. Heating 800g of lentil soup in 10 minutes with the smallest ring costs 0.14p compared to about 2p in the microwave.
Tea and toast will be added soon.my Morphy Richards 2 Slot Toaster A toast costs about 1p, and boiling 0.5L of room temperature water costs about 2p. However, using a smart kettle to heat water for coffee to just 85°C can save about 30% of electricity.
Doing laundry also costs a lot. Daily wash cycle at 40°C for 72 minutes 7kg samsung washing machine Electricity costs are 25p, but are significantly higher at higher temperatures or longer cycles with more spins.
One surprisingly expensive item was the hair dryer.a Perlux 2200W dryer It takes about 6p to use for 10 minutes.
Also, electric heaters are expensive to run.relatively competent dyson fan heater It costs 16p an hour to keep a small room at 20°C. That’s about five pence more than the amount of gas he burns in an hour by his 2013 Combi his boiler, which heats the entire house under similar conditions.