Everything that we plug into a socket adds to our electricity bills, but there are considerable differences in their efficiency, so it’s worth taking that into consideration when you buy a new appliance or gadget.


Everything that we plug into a socket adds to our electricity bills. Old appliances will generally be less efficient than newer ones. When buying new appliances or gadgets you should take the item’s efficiency into consideration. Furthermore, the Energy Saving Trust reports that just by leaving electrical goods on standby costs the average household around £35per year. Turn appliances off standby and turn lights off to further save energy

Energy Rating

On the surface, the easiest way to identify good performers is by the energy rating. However, it’s not necessarily as simple as it seems. The ratings are given for particular size brackets, so for example a small B-rated fridge might use less electricity than a larger A-rated one.

A+++ is best however, Label2020 is looking to change and improve the scale.

In general, it makes sense to buy the best rated one you can afford.

The Energy Saving Trust offers advice on the most popular appliances here.

For more detail about the cost of running a vast range of appliances, visit the independent website Sust-it. They have researched manufacturers data on more than 10,000 products in order to help you make more informed purchasing decisions.

Another detailed energy use calculator worth taking a look at is the Kagoo energy cost calculator which gives you the annual cost of running different appliances based on how much you use them and, if you have the details, the energy tariff you use.

Getting rid of old appliances

Disposing of old appliances in the right way is important. Appliances with a cross through a wheelie bin label should not be disposed of in household waste. This can include light bulbs and small batteries. In this way, you can make sure hazardous material can be removed and parts are recycled and do not end up in landfill.

  • retailers may take old appliances of your hands
  • you can take appliances to recycling points
  • or your local council may pick bulky items up (although there may be a charge for this)