Energy: How much are your cuppas costing you?
What do you think uses the most electricity every year in British homes? You might assume it’s the electric oven, the hob or the microwave. But you're wrong!
It’s actually the kettle. This appliance eats up about 6% on average of the energy supplied to a UK home.
An oven might use more power when it’s switched on, but the constant boiling of the kettle is what uses so much power.
A visiting professor of chemical engineering at Strathclyde University, Tom Baxter, contacted The Guardian to suggest UK homes could cut £19 per year off their energy bills by only boiling the amount of water they need.
Government published data on energy usage shows that we used 105.4 terawatt hours in 2017, and 16% of that was used for kitchen appliances.
Analysis by Cardiff University of 2012 consumption patterns found that 34% of the electrical energy used for cooking went on kettles. In contrast, 24% went on kitchen hobs, 23% on ovens, and 19% on microwaves.
Baxter says that ‘about 6% of our electricity bills is from boiling kettles.’
He said: ‘I regularly overfill it [the kettle] for the task in hand, particularly for a cup of tea or coffee. Let’s say 80% of kettles are overfilled by treble the quantity of water needed. That means overfilling translates to 3.2% of our domestic electricity bill.’
So, by simply filling up our kettle with the right amount of water, consumers can start making significant savings each year, which isn’t bad for a free energy-saving tip.
You should also descale your kettle regularly, as if it is full of limescale it will have to use more energy to boil the same amount of water. Or, because gas is a little cheaper that electricity, you could boil your water on a gas hob instead.
The biggest way of course to save on your energy bills is to shop around and find the best supplier for your home. Use a price comparison site like A Spokesman Said to find the right deal and make sure you’re really getting value for money.
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