Your home's biggest power-guzzlers

A watt here, a watt there – if it's switched on, it's costing you money. But how much, and how to cut the cost?


They don't use much power, but these devices are on 24/7.

Set-top box

All that Sky or Virgin TV comes at a cost: around 50p a week in power, even on standby. Catch up TV boxes like the Now TV don't have an off switch, but only cost around 5p a week.

Wireless router

Powering your wireless broadband costs around 23p a week. It's almost impossible to bring this cost down without turning the whole thing off, so it may be more trouble than it is worth.

Phone charger

Unplug your charger when your battery's full? No need - it draws almost no power on its own.


Keep an eye on these mid-power appliances – the costs can soon add up.


A modern TV costs under around a penny an hour when on, but almost nothing on standby. Hit that red button when no-one's watching.

Desktop PC

A whirring PC costs around 45p a day. Set it to sleep when not in use - a sleeping computer only costs around 5p all week.

Vacuum cleaner

High-power mode can double the vacuum's power consumption, so only use it when you have something stubborn in the carpet.


The gluttons of the power world. These monsters are loud, hot and suck up electricity and cash!

Tumble Dryer

It costs around 10p to wash a full load of clothes, but about 25p to dry them. A washing line is worth having for spring and summer - even in Britain.


Boiling half a litre of water for a mug of tea instead of a full kettle will save you about 2p. Also, re-boiling your kettle wastes energy so make sure that you include just the right amount of water whenever you put on a brew.

Electric heater

Toasty toes come at a price, at around 30p for an hour's heat. Get a model with a thermostat so it only runs when it needs to.

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