Turn off these 8 household items to save money this winter

As energy bills are set to rise to an average of £139 per household, many households are concerned about how they will be able to afford the increase.

By Thomas Goodman, Building and Construction expert at MyJobQuote

Building and Construction expert, Thomas Goodman from MyJobQuote explains how and why leaving appliances on stand-by increases energy bills and the carbon footprint of your household. Goodman also notes 8 simple yet effective household appliances to switch off and save money and energy.

Why does leaving devices plugged in a switched on use energy?

If you leave a device plugged in and switched on, it will use electricity even if the device isn’t actually in use, whereas if the plug socket is switched on but nothing is plugged in, the electrical current is unable to flow through.

Lights

An estimated 4.7 million households leave at least one light on overnight, perhaps in the hallway or bathroom, this equates to a cost of £23 per year! Goodman offers a general rule of thumb to decipher whether leaving lights on is worth it “only keep the light on when you know you will return in under 15 minutes,” he advises.

TVs

Over 98% of UK households admit to leaving their TV on standby at all times, meaning although they turn it off via the remote, they leave the TV switched on at the plug. Although this may be the most convenient way of turning it off, on average switching it off at the plug can save up to £30 per year.

Speakers

Speakers are typically small and kept out of sight, only used occasionally, however they are described as being “vampire devices,” which Goodman explains “a vampire device is a device which uses lots of energy, even when not being actively used. A speaker is a prime example of this, as it is not used as frequently as other devices, such as TVs or chargers, meaning more energy use goes to waste.”

On average, speakers cost the consumer approximately £6 a year, which although may not seem like a huge amount, it results in 90.32 watts wasted per day!

Chargers

Many of us have gotten into the habit of leaving our devices, such as phones, tablets, and laptops, to charge overnight. “On average, these devices only take approximately 2-4 hours to fully charge,” Goodman explains. “It is estimated that this costs UK consumers over £28 million per year.”

Games consoles

Games consoles are typically described as being the biggest “vampire” device, as they tend to be left on at all times, even when not in use. Many admit they leave them plugged in to administer game updates, however, this can be an expensive habit costing households around £22.23 per year.

TV boxes and recorders

A massive 86% of households admit to leaving their TV boxes and recorders on at all times. However, leaving these devices on is estimated to cost just under £26 per year. Turning the boxes off and making sure your favourite TV shows can be recorded at other times can save both money and energy.

Printer

Not only does an average printer left plugged in and on standby mode cost almost three times more than a printer in off mode does, but it also emits unnecessary energy. “Despite many newer printers boasting an energy-saving mode, they can still cost up to £5 per year, which is an unnecessary expense,” Goodman advises.

Microwave

A microwave is something which is almost always left on and forgotten about, however, doing so can cost households an extra £5 per year. Although this may not seem like a huge expense, the amount of unnecessary energy they emit can be huge, with the average microwave left on standby using over 28 watts per day.

What you shouldn’t turn off

Wi-Fi router

Although you may be mindful that leaving the router on all night is an unnecessary cost, unfortunately, many routers actually need to be left on. “Check your router’s guide, as some explicitly state that they need to stay on to perform routine maintenance and updates. It is also necessary to keep the router working efficiently,” Goodman explains. “Much like the fridge/freezer, the router may be a device which needs to stay on.”

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.