Gadgets are costing UK households £600m a year

POSTED: 27th October 2015
IN: Personal Guides

As research for Big Energy Saving Week reveals gadgets could be costing UK households up to £600m a year, Aldermore takes a look at how savers can reduce their energy bills and save money.

Over recent years, the UK has seen a growing increase in the number of gadgets people own, with research from Ipsos MORI finding that the average number of gadgets in people’s homes has increased by 31 per cent since 2010. While these gadgets can provide a range of different benefits to their owners, they could also be greatly increasing their energy bills.

The survey, which was taken as part of Big Energy Saving Week, found that leaving gadgets and other appliances on standby, rather than turning them off, could be costing households up to £600m a year in wasted energy. An advanced set-top box left on standby for 20 hours a day could waste £20 a year alone.

78 per cent of respondents admitted to regularly leaving at least two devices on standby, with many trying to shift the blame on to other family members. 31 per cent blamed their spouses for leaving appliances switched on, while 44 per cent blamed their children.

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of Energy Saving Trust, said: “We are urging people to be in control of their energy use. There is a growing black hole in our energy bills because we prefer the convenience of standby, but many of us blame each other for leaving things on around the house and it’s adding £30 to our bills every year.

“Getting down on your hands and knees and working out what you can and can’t switch off can be a real pain for some of us. We suggest simply plugging everything that you can switch off into one extension socket and everything that you can’t into another.”

What can households do to reduce their energy bills?

Remembering to turn off gadgets and other appliances when they’re not in use, rather than leaving them on standby, can save a household £30 a year. But what else can savers do to reduce their energy bills and save money?

Switch to energy efficient LED lightbulbs

One of the easiest ways to save money on energy is by switching to energy efficient lightbulbs. While LED lightbulbs might be more expensive to purchase than traditional bulbs, they are much more efficient and could save households up to £240 a year, paying for themselves within five months.

Be careful in the kitchen

There are a number of simple steps people can take in their kitchen to save money on their energy bills. Filling up the kettle with the amount of water it needs, rather than all the way to the top, could bring an annual saving of £20. Savers cut could their energy bills by a further £30 by using a bowl to wash up rather than running the tap.

Turn down the temperature

Turning down the thermostat is another easy way to save money on heating bills. While nobody wants to be cold, especially over winter, a reduction of just 1ºC might not be noticeable, but could save up to £75 a year.

Spend less time in the shower

By spending one minute less in the shower each day, savers could reduce their energy bills by £10 a year per person. In houses with a water meter, this will save a further £15 a year. For households wanting to go one step further, fitting a water efficient shower head could save an additional £67 a year on heating, as well as £100 a year on water if they have a meter.

By making a few simple adjustments and becoming more energy efficient, households could start saving hundreds of pounds a year.

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