How Much Is Your Toaster Costing You?

Oct 23

Take a look around your home – the chances are that every room will be crammed with electrical appliances.

From the TV and set top box in your living room, to games consoles for the children, cooker in the kitchen, alarm clock in the bedroom, the list is simply endless.

The cost of buying the appliance is only half the story, the amount of electricity each item gobbles up can make a significant difference to how much you have to pay out to your energy supplier. And a new report has revealed exactly how much is wasted, simply by leaving the appliance on standby.

A great deal has been written recently about the cost of not switching electrical appliances off completely but a new report, commissioned jointly by government departments together with the Energy Saving Trust, has found that the actual amount of wastage is far higher than previously thought.

Experts now believe as much as 16% of electricity used is from appliances on standby, a total of £86 on an annual bill of £530. This means that by simply getting better at switching things off, it should be possible to slice a sixth off your electricity bill.

As well as measuring the cost of not switching appliances off, researchers investigated how much every item cost to run per year, based on average costs. The study took into account 250 households and was based on an electricity cost of 14.5p per kWh.

So, what did the study reveal to be the most expensive electrical item to run?

You could be forgiven for thinking that a large item such as a freezer, which is left running permanently, would eat up the most electricity. However, in actual fact a luxury item which costs a lot of money to purchase is also one of the biggest culprits for hiking up the bill.

A plasma flat screen TV might look fabulous but the running costs will leave a dent in your bank balance. Researchers calculated that a plasma TV costs a whopping £96 per year to run, a third more than an upright fridge freezer, which came in at £62. It also costs more than three times the running cost of an LCD TV which costs just £29 per year, or more than five times more than an old-style CRT TV, which is just £17 to run per year.

You might well complain about the amount of time the children spend on their games console but the study showed the running costs were between just £6 and £9 per annum.

The second piece of equipment which has the most expensive running costs was a dehumidifier, which cost £76 per year to run, far more than an oven and a hob, which worked out at just £46, despite being an essential item of equipment used on most days.

The buffs even took into account the smallest electrical items such as clock radios and hairdryers, which eat up just £3 per year each. Hair straighteners and baby monitors were amongst the cheapest appliances to run, costing £1 apiece per annum.

And the humble toaster? Well, for a years’ worth of golden brown deliciously tasty toast, you can expect to pay £3.18.

Understanding how you can cut back on your utility bill expenditure can be very helpful if you are struggling to keep up with ever increasing household bills.

However, if you are finding it harder to keep up with all your monthly bills, it could be worth seeking professional help.

By consolidating debts such as credit cards, catalogue accounts, overdrafts and payday loans into one easier to manage monthly repayment, you could have a little more in your pocket to cover the costs of sky rocketing utility bills.

If you’re interested in consolidating your debts, you could speak to a professional debt company such as Baines and Ernst who could provide more information on how to do this. They could also tell you how much you could expect to cut your repayments by every month.

In the meantime, make sure you unplug all appliances when they’re not in use to keep your costs as low as possible.