‘Vampire electronics’ that are adding to household energy bills

As the nation prepares for Halloween, new research by British Gas has revealed that households could save 23 per cent on their electricity bills a year by switching off “vampire electronics”, which drain power when left on standby.

The new research reveals that 43 per cent of respondents are concerned about their winter energy usage

With the average annual electricity bill currently at £474.44, households could save an average of £110 per household per year by simply flicking a switch. This equates to a massive £2.2bn across all UK households.

The new research reveals that 43 per cent of respondents are concerned about their winter energy usage. With two in five (40 per cent) saying they are already seeing an increase in their energy bills, almost half (45 per cent) say they are more interested than ever to make energy savings.

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However, almost one in five (16 per cent) are unaware that many household appliances use up electricity whilst not in use. Two in five (41 per cent) occasionally switch these appliances off. Almost a third (31 per cent) said they wish they had known that appliances were costing them money whilst on standby.

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) said they will make more effort to switch their appliances off now they know they could save money.

Almost three in four (72 per cent) of those aged 54 to 65 said they would switch off appliances to save money on bills, compared with just over one third (39 per cent) of 18 to 24-year olds who found the idea less appealing.

Almost one in four (23 per cent) said that they will continue to leave appliances on standby when inactive despite the fact it could save them money. Over two in five (43 per cent) said this was because the effort of switching them off isn’t worth the cost saving and one in four (25 per cent) said they just don’t care.

The top vampire device is our televisions, which 61 per cent of us leave on standby, costing £18.37 a year per household.

The second is a set top box or satellite dish, which 83 per cent of us leave on standby, costing £18.20 a year per household.

The third is a modem or internet router, which 87 per cent of us leave on standby, costing £14.72 a year per household.

The fourth is the microwave, which 61 per cent of us leave on standby, costing £11.84 a year per household. The fifth is games consoles, which 74 per cent of us leave on standby, costing £9.12 a year per household and the sixth is our computers, which 72 per cent of us leave on standby, costing £8.65 a year per household.

Other vampire devices include smart speakers/ smart home devices, dishwashers, tumble dryers, washing machines, printers and mobile phone chargers.

Energy expert, Marc Robson at British Gas, said: “While colder weather means a rise in bills is inevitable, there are some things we can do to reduce our energy usage at home this winter which will really help the bank balance and the environment.

“Almost a third of total heating costs in the home are wasted through the roof and the walls and with vampire appliances, this figure is almost half of our electricity bills on wasted energy.

“Just switching some of these off can really help save straight away and those with a smart meter will be able to see the impact of this in real time. Turn it down or turn it off is a great motto for fighting the vampires.”

Top 5 tips to limit the vampire appliances sucking up unnecessary energy:

1. At night, or when not in use, try switching off devices at the mains rather than switching to standby. Even better, next time you buy a new product, select one that is listed as having low standby power usage.

2. Add all electronics (computer, gaming console, Sky box, TV) to an extension lead and switch that off at night, this saves you the effort of turning them all off individually!

3. Turn lights off when you leave a room. Energy efficient light bulbs will help with even further savings (you could save up to £40 a year)

4. Use a smart thermostat to help keep your room temperature as low as possible for as long as possible to avoid using the heating when you might not need it (save up to £75 for smart thermostat and £60 by reducing temperature by 1 degree)

5. Timing is everything; don’t leave chargers plugged into your devices once it’s fully charged, don’t fill the kettle if you’re only making one cup of tea and wait until the dishwasher and washing machine are full before putting them on.