Ever wondered how much your appliances cost to run?

Your Nan might have told you that if you looked after the pennies the pounds would look after themselves – and there’s nothing truer.

But it’s easier to look after the pennies you spend on electricity when you know how much every gadget and flick of a switch is costing you.

To help you save energy, we’ve pulled together a list of how many units of electricity your appliances and gadgets use to run.

Using the cost of one unit of electricity based on our current average standard tariff (16p per kWh* which means 1000 watts or one kilowatt (1 kW) of power expended for one hour (1 h) of time), we’ve worked out how much that’s roughly costing you.

So if you want to know roughly how much it costs to do a wash or power your PlayStation, keep reading …

Your appliances, and what they cost to run

  • Light bulb: around 0.1p for 5 hours per bulb: A 9W LED energy efficient light bulb uses very little energy but depending on how many light bulbs you’ve got switched on, this could soon rack up.
  • Kettle: around 2p to boil a full kettle: The average kettle holds 1.5 litres of water and uses about 0.1 kWh of electricity to boil for 3 minutes. That’s around 2p every time you boil a full kettle.
  • Electric oven: 14p per hour: Electric cookers use around 0.87 kWh of electricity per hour – if you cook for 2hrs a day 5 times a week, it will cost you around £1.39 to cook a week’s worth of meals for your family. Costs will vary depending on the cooker you have, how often you use it and how energy efficient it is.
  • Slow cooker: around 21p per meal: A slow cooker is a very efficient way to cook a hot meal. The average 3.5 litre slow cooker uses about 1.3 kWh of electricity or 21p to power eight hours of cooking – that’s less that 3p per hour.
  • Fridge freezer: around 12p a day: Fridge freezers are on 24/7, the running cost of a fridge freezer depends on the efficiency and the size of it. A 240 litre fridge freezer uses 269 kWh a year and bulky American style fridge freezers use about 358 kWh - that’s around 12p – 16p per day.
  • Washing machine: around 16p per one hour wash: On average, a 6 litre load washing machine takes around 1 unit of electricity – roughly about 16p – to run an hour-long wash.
  • Iron: around 10p an hour: Irons are guzzle electricity to heat up but use less electricity to stay hot. Your iron probably uses around 0.6 units of electricity (or around 10p) for every hour you use it.
  • PC: around 7p an hour: The average PC needs around 1.3 kWh of electricity (roughly 22p) to run for three hours – that’s about 6-7p an hour. A desktop computer costs around £26 a year to run – but laptops are much cheaper at just £4 a year.
  • TV: around 2p an hour: Most 55 inch Smart TVs use around 1 unit of electricity to power approximately 12 hours of viewing – that’s about 2p an hour.
  • Games console: around 3p an hour: On average, games consoles use half a unit of electricity (around 8p) to power three hours of gameplay – or around 3p an hour. But some consoles are slightly cheaper to run than others – they say running a PS4 costs £28 a year, Xbox One costs around £20 a year, and a Nintendo Switch costs just £2 a year.

Remember to switch your appliances off

A report released by the Energy Saving Trust, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) found that the average household wastes between £50 - £80 of their annual £530 electricity bill by leaving appliances on standby instead of switching them off at the socket. Make sure you’re not one of them by turning off everything you use when you’re finished with it.

Making these prices relevant to you

You pay for electricity by the unit – but depending on what tariff you’re on and other variables like how energy efficient your appliances are, you may spend slightly more or less on your electricity than we’ve costed above.

To help keep these figures as fair and relevant as possible, we based our calculations on the price of one unit of electricity costing 16p based on our current Standard Variable Tariff.

But, if you would like to get a more accurate picture of what your appliances cost to run above you can use the unit price listed on your energy bill instead or get a Smart meter.

Are you surprised at how much some gadgets and home appliances cost to run?

Ready to get a Smart meter?

Book a Smart meter installation today, or find out more about the npower Smart meter rollout.

Book an appointment

You’ll need your online account login details or account number, which can be found at the top of your bill. Don’t have either of these? No problem, just give us a call on 0800 048 0582.


*The price per unit in this blog post is in pence per kWh. The unit rate of 16p per kWh of electricity (inclusive of VAT) is based on the weighted average unit rate of the OFGEM SVT Cap for direct debit customers across all regions as at 31 January 2019.

The running cost of appliances is estimated by using the wattage of each appliance taken from the manufacturers website, multiplied by number of hours the appliance is used for, multiplied by the unit rate of 16p per kilowatt hour as per npower’s Standard Variable Tariff.