Keeping energy prices cool this summer

We all know that winter is the time when we usually have to look at our energy consumption the most but, as our summer warms up* in the UK due to climate change, we need to stop and think about how we can be energy efficient in the summer too.

This week has seen our first red alert for a heatwave triggered and no doubt most of us have been trying to think of ways to keep a cool head at home. The Centre of Sustainable Energy informs us that it helps us to focus on the things that we use the most, and so costs you the most money. Every electrical appliance has a power rating which tells you how much electricity it needs to work. This is usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW) (1000W = 1KW). Of course, the amount of electricity it uses depends non how long it’s on and this is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Below is a handy table produced by CSE of the biggest drain on energies in your households although unfortunately, it doesn’t show fans and air conditioning units.

ApplianceAverage power rating (Watts)Cost to use per hour (pence)*Cost to use per 10 mins (pence)*
Electric shower7000–10500175-26229–44
Immersion heater30007512.5
Kettle30007512.5
Tumble Dryer2000-300050–758.0–12.5
Electric fire2000–300050–758.0–12.5
Oven2000-220050–558.0–9.0
Hairdryer2000508
Oil-filled radiator1500-250037–626–10
Washing machine1200-300030–755.0–12.5
Dishwasher1050–150026–374.5–6.0
Grill/hob1000-200025–504.0–8.5 
Iron1000-180025–454.0–4.5 
Electric drill900-100022.5–25.03.7–4.0 
Toaster800-150020–37.53.3–6.2
Microwave600-150015.0–37.52.5–6.2
Electric mower500-180012.5–45.02.1–7.5
Vacuum cleaner500-120012.5–30.02.0–5.0
Dehumidifier300-7007.5–17.51.2–2.8
Plasma TV 280-4507.0–11.01.2–1.8
Towel rail250-5006.0–12.51.0–2.2
Fridge-freezer200-4005–100.8–1.6
Freezer15040.6
Heating blanket130-2003–50.5–0.8
LCD TV125-2003–50.5–0.8
Desktop computer80-2002–50.3–0.8
Games console45-1901–50.2–0.8
Fridge40-1201–3~ 0.3
TV box30-400.7–1.0~ 0.1
Laptop20-650.5–1.6~ 0.1
Video/DVD/CD20-600.5–1.6~ 0.1
Tablet (charge)100.2<0.1
Broadband router7-100.2<0.1
Extractor fan5-360.2–0.9<0.1
Smart phone (charge)2.5-5.0<0.2<0.1

*All calculations are based on an assumed unit rate of £0.25p per kWh (at the upper-end of normal range in Jan 2022) and rounded up or down to the nearest 0.5p or 0.1p as appropriate

There is no doubt that air conditioning and multiple fans running are a drain on your home energy and can cause your bills to shoot up. We found a few tops tips from EDF Energy that we can all do in our homes to keep cool and save energy;

  • Open windows throughout your home and get a draught going (if there is one!)
  • Close windows that are open on the sunny side and leave them open on the shady side if that’s possible, opening windows in the evening if safe to do so can also help.
  • Close curtains and blinds when the sun is out to stop rooms heating up
  • Don’t unintentionally heat up your home – avoid using the oven (try raw salads that need no heat to prepare or use the microwave) and turn off lights when they’re not in use

You can also save energy by:

  • Unplugging electronics
  • Keeping the fridge closed – in warm temperatures your fridge can heat quickly and it takes energy for it to cool back down
  • Doing laundry in cold water and then hang it up outside on a washing line

Some top tips to save water can be found here from Thames Water: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/help/water-saving/water-saving-tips-for-summer

You may also find this article from Energy Saving Trust useful: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/hub/quick-tips-to-save-energy/

If you believe you are at risk of, or currently experiencing fuel poverty we can help. Get in touch with Helen.Dean@ccberks.org.uk for further information and support.

  • A recent study from the MET Office stated; ‘The chances of seeing 40°C days in the UK could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence. The likelihood of exceeding 40°C anywhere in the UK in a given year has also been rapidly increasing.”

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