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Which appliances use more electricity

Are air fryers really as energy efficient as people say? Are heated clothes drying racks cheaper than using a tumble dryer? How much does it cost to run an electric blanket? With the help of a smart meter display, you can find out which household gadgets really are energy efficient.

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Which appliances use the most energy

Knowing which appliances use the most energy at home can help you better manage your energy usage. Our survey showed that more than half of us (56%) are investing in new household gadgets to help reduce our energy costs and save money in the future.*

That's why we've tested six popular household appliances and devices to find out which ones use less energy:

Heated drying rack vs. Tumble dryer

Heated drying rack

Heated clothes airers generally use between 0.2 - 0.3 kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy. This means that a standard ten-hour drying session would cost between 68p and £1.02**

Agelica Bell with a heated airer

Tumble dryer

On average, tumble dryers use between 1.8 - 5 kWh of energy. This means that a one-hour cycle would cost you between 61p and £1.70**

Clothes Dryer

Air Fryer vs. Oven

Air fryer

The average air fryer uses between 1.4 and 1.7 kWh of energy. This means that having the heated airer on for an hour will cost you between 47p and 57p**

Lou using an air fryer

Oven

The average oven uses about 2 - 5 kWh of energy. This means that preheating your oven for 15 minutes and cooking your food for an hour will cost you between 85p and £2.13 an hour.**

Agelica Bell using an oven

Electric blanket vs. Electric heater

Electric blanket

Electric blankets use around 0.15 kWh of energy. This means using an electric blanket will cost you about 5p per hour**

Angelica and Lou using an electrci blanket

Electric heaters

On average, electric heaters use around 2.5 kWh. Which equals to 85p per hour.**

An electric heater

How to find out what uses more energy in your home

The appliances above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a smart meter, you can find out how much energy other appliances, like your toaster or microwave, uses too.

Smart meters come in an in-home display, which shows you how much energy you're using in near-real time. With your smart meter in-home display, the energy usage of any household appliance can be measured. As long as that appliance is connected to your gas or electricity supply.

Always make sure to keep note of what your usage is before you turn on the appliance you're checking.

  1. Find your baseline

    Start by turning off all your non-essential items, so maybe you just have your internet router and fridge freezer on. This gives you a baseline level of energy usage which you can compare with other devices – write this figure down. Your in-home display can measure energy usage (in kWH) or cost (in pounds and pence), so it’s up to you how you'd like to measure it.

    Make sure nobody else in your home is turning devices off or on while testing as this could change the results.

  2. Turn on the appliance you want to test

    Time to turn on that electric blanket. Once you do, pay attention to your in-home display and wait until it updates you on how much energy you're using. It only takes a few seconds for your in-home display to update on electric usage. Gas usage takes longer, about 30 minutes.

  3. Compare the differences

    You can work out how much energy your device is using by comparing your original baseline measurement from your in-home display with what it is now showing on your device.

    For example, if your in-home display was showing your electricity usage was costing you £0.14p per hour, but when you switched on the electric blanket your consumption increased to £0.19p per hour, the difference in cost is 5p per hour. This means your electric blanket is costing you 5p per hour to run.

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*Research carried out by OnePoll for Smart Energy GB of 2,000 nationally representative GB adults between the 3rd to 7th of March 2023.

**Electricity costs are calculated using the Energy Price Guarantee electricity rate of £0.34 per kWh (October 2022).

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