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.
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:
Angellica: I've been at Lou's house all day with Smart Energy Gb to discover which of your household appliances and gadgets really are most energy efficient using the smart meter's in-home display.
We covered loads today. Which of the appliances were you most surprised by?
Lou: Well the oven was never gonna win against the air fryer but it was quite unbelievable just how much energy the oven uses.
Angellica: It is a lot, now the heated drying rack verse the washer dryer was an interesting one, wasn't it?
Lou: I was quite surprised actually, considering the heated drying rack took so much longer, it still came out on top.
Angellica: And obviously the electric blanket coming up trumps over the electric heater was my favourite challenge, not just because that crowned me the tech-off champion, but to be fair, the electric heater wasn't far behind.
Lou: I almost had you, and actually, I was really surprised at how similar the usage was.
Angellica: And it was only me getting the heat. For a family, the electric heater would be much more beneficial.
Lou: I completely agree.
Angellica: Thank you so much for having me. It's been really interesting to put your appliances to the test to see how efficient they are. And the smart meter's display gives us a much more accurate understanding of what it costs to power our tech.
For more info go to smartenergygb.org.
Angellica: You can make me a tea now.
Lou: Make it yourself!
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**
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**
Air Fryer vs. Oven
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**
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.**
Electric blanket vs. Electric heater
Electric blankets use around 0.15 kWh of energy. This means using an electric blanket will cost you about 5p per hour**
On average, electric heaters use around 2.5 kWh. Which equals to 85p per hour.**
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.
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.
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.
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.
Similarly, if your in-home display was showing your electricity usage has moved from 0.43kWH to 0.58kWh, that would mean your electric blanket was using 0.15kWh of electricity.
*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).
Want to find out more?
- Energy Saving Tips- we've compiled a list of energy saving tips around the home that could help you save money.
- About the in-home display - learn about all the different ways you can use your in-home display.
- Concerned about your energy bills? - there are things you can do to help your situation. From making small changes in your home, to reaching out for support.