What Appliances Use The Most Electricity?

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Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: August 21, 2023 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

Some appliances that are the biggest electricity consumers include your washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, lighting, electric cooking appliances, television and computers. Even leaving some of these appliances off but plugged in can result in them drawing electricity.

What Appliances Use The Most Electricity?

In the UK, electricity consumption by households has been on the rise. If you find your own electricity bills increasing, you need to be aware of some appliances that use the most electricity in your house.

Several appliances are often the culprits when consuming the most electricity. Take a look at some of these appliances below so that you can then take steps to reduce their electricity usage.

Washing Machine

washing machine surrounded by storage compartments

Washing machines or washers consume around 430 kWh (kilowatts per hour) annually. This usually amounts to around £140 per year, with just the standby cost being around £10.

This is because these washers require more electricity to use and heat up the water, which is why they can help to wash your clothes at lower temperatures and using economic settings. Make sure you also gather a full load before washing. For more washing machine tips, click here.

Tumble Dryer

tumble dryer with door open and dry towels tumbling out

A tumble dryer dries up your washed clothes. This dryer consumes even more electricity than your washer, with an annual consumption of around 930 kWh, provided that you use it for around 4 days a week. This means you might spend around £315 per year on your dryer.

Economic settings also help here, but the best solution is to use the dryer only after you obtain a full load. Running it once or twice a week, for instance, can help.


open dishwasher with clean dishes being unpacked

A dishwasher uses water and spends plenty of energy heating it up to wash your dishes properly. This results in an annual consumption of nearly 400 kWh, resulting in an expense of £136.

Opting for lower temperatures and using the economical mode can help here.

Your washer, dryer and dishwasher account for nearly 15% of the electricity consumption.


green single-door fridge

Your refrigerator (including the freezer in its structure) consumes around 12-13% of your annual household electricity consumption. This might result in an expense of nearly £140 every year due to a consumption of 420 kWh.

This consumption is usually unavoidable since your fridge and freezer remain on and plugged in at all times to protect your food. You can, however, buy an efficient model.

Click here for refrigerator care tips.


modern kitchen with bright lighting

Lighting is an important part of your house and takes up around 5-15% of your annual electricity consumption. This means you might spend up to £130 per year on lighting. However, with the popularity of LED bulbs, this electricity consumption can be reduced considerably.

Electric Cooking Appliances

oven with teapot on the hob surrounded by a kitchen bench with utensils and condiment containers

Electric ovens and hobs are used frequently due to their importance in the kitchen. This draws plenty of electricity for each use, resulting in a usage of around £100 for the oven and hob each. This implies the usage of around 300 kWh of electricity consumption annually.


tv mounted on a white wall

A TV can often result in an annual cost of around £130 per year with a consumption of around 380 kWh. This consumption is typical because most households leave their televisions plugged in and only switched off. Some go on standby if not turned off properly.

Turning the TV off after every use and turning the switch off or unplugging it can help.


laptop and monitor on a white desk

Computers and laptops also result in around £70-100 of annual electricity consumption, which means a 200-300 kWh consumption. With these appliances, a common practice is to leave them on and plugged in, resulting in more consumption.


Do Appliances Use Electricity When They Are Turned Off?

Many appliances use electricity even when they are turned off, with some examples being your refrigerator, television, computers and electric cooking appliances. Wherever applicable, make sure you turn off their main switch or unplug them when you are not using them.

How Do I Manage an Appliance’s Electricity Consumption?

To manage an appliance’s electricity consumption, make sure you turn it off and unplug it when it is not in use. For some appliances where this is not possible, keep them running in their economical settings. You should also ensure that you keep your appliances clean to keep them running in an efficient manner.
Buying a smart switch or meter will help you track and change your consumption habits. Ensuring that your appliance has a high energy efficiency rating will help too.

What Appliances Use The Most Electricity? Final Remarks

Some common appliances in most households tend to use the most electricity, including washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, lights, electric appliances and electronics. Based on the data presented here, you can figure out ways to manage the usage of these appliances.

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Maria Kelley
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