You’ve been using your kettle all wrong – the kitchen appliances driving up energy bills and how to fix it | The Sun
4th October 2022

KITCHEN appliances you use every day will always add to your energy bill, but you may be spending extra unnecessarily.

Avoiding these common mistakes could help you save cash as energy prices are on the rise.

They may seem small, but can add up over time and taking action now to reduce your energy use could help you in the long run.

Making a cup of tea requires only a tea bag and water – and some milk and sugar depending on your tastes.

Surely you can't get it too wrong? Well, each time you fill the kettle more than you need to it's costing money.

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

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Tashema Jackson, consumer champion at energyhelpline, previously told The Sun: "Adjusting how much water you use and the temperature you boil your water to, can save you around £6 a year."

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

For example, it now typically costs 9p to run your kettle for five minutes, according to Uswitch.

If you were to do so every day for a year, it will set you back £32.76.

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

Uswitch added that the savings only represent a few pence, but this all adds up over the course of a year.

The kettle is not the only appliance you could be using in the wrong way that's wasting energy and money either – check the list below and how to avoid it.

Use the correct hob ring for your pan

Use the correct-sized ring for the pan you're cooking with to avoid any excess heat escaping.

If you can see any of the electric ring, or any gas flames, then that means the heat is working hard for nothing, heating the air rather than the pan itself.

The Telegraph reports that placing a 15cm pan on a 20cm ring could be wasting as much as 25% energy.

Defrost your freezer and don't overfill it

If you don't defrost your freezer regularly it could add as much as £150 a year to your bill.

Getting rid of too much ice regularly keeps the temperature low so the motor doesn't have to work as hard.

When you have too much food stuffed in your fridge or freezer, the appliance struggles to keep the items of food cold, and uses more energy as a result.

Don't leave the oven on longer than you need

You should turn off the oven a few minutes before the food is ready, leaving it to continue cooking in what's left of the heat.

It's going to take a while to cool down anyway, and that extra heat is just going to waste.

You can also get away with not preheating the oven in most cases too.

Most ovens are quick to heat up nowadays so you're likely just wasting excess energy.

Use the microwave instead

Sometimes using the microwave is cheaper than the oven.

Gas stoves use more energy than microwaves so especially if you are reheating food, you can use less energy over a shorter period to get the same result.

Things like jacket potatoes will be cheaper to cook in the microwave too given they'll only need a quick blast compared to the lengthy time they take to bake in the oven.

Don't leave appliances on standby

Energy Saving Trust says that a microwave is one of the appliances that will "eat up electricity" when left on standby.

Switch it off at the plug and you could save money on your energy bill.

This goes for other appliances you have in the kitchen too.

If you leave them on standby they will continue to use power around your house, so unplugging appliances from the walls will guarantee you can't waste any unnecessary energy.

Wash at a lower temperature

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, Which? found in August 2021.

If your machine is only half full, you might want to hold off from hitting the start button too.

Waiting until you have a full load of washing means you’re likely to do fewer cycles throughout the year. 

Which? also found that doing one big wash four times a week reduces energy consumption by 17% compared to someone doing three smaller washes every day. 

Following the energy bill increase on October 1, average yearly washing machine running costs now come in at £77, up from £63, according to Which?.

This assumes that the average household uses it 208 times, working out as four times a week.

Meanwhile, the cheapest-to-run washing machine tested by the site will now cost £31 a year to use, up from £26.

Wait until your dishwasher is full

According to uSwitch, you should wait until the machine is full before putting on a load – you're wasting half the energy otherwise.

The comparison website also says that using an eco setting (which most dishwashers now have) can save as much as 20% of energy use per wash, and that a pre-wash is not needed.

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