Is it the kettle, the old school light bulbs, the tumble dryer? And did you check the power consumption on that new outdoor heater you bought for your garden makeover?  

Which appliance is using the most electricity in your home can feel like guesswork, and although a smart meter can help you keep an eye on things, it’s not easy keeping track of it all. 

The table below shows our assumed kilowatt use of a few popular appliances:

Appliance  Assumed KW (on full power) 
Electric shower  10.000 
Water heater  3.000 
Tumble dryer  2.500 
Oven  2.200 
Washing machine  2.000 
Hair dryer  2.000 
Kettle  1.800 
Dishwasher  1.500 
Toaster  1.000

Carbon intensity app

Of course it’s not so easy to stop washing clothes, cooking or even drinking tea. So another step you could look at is using electricity at the ‘greenest’ time of day. This could save you money and help the environment too. 

At the ESO, we’ve developed a Carbon Intensity App, in partnership with the WWF, Environmental Defense Fund Europe and the University of Oxford department of Computer Science. 

You can use the app as a rough guide for when to do things like charge your phone, put on your washing or run the vacuum round. 

It can also be linked to smart devices so you can automate your energy use to coincide with the peaks in green energy production. Download the app from Google Play Store and The App Store

Using the app has a few benefits: 

  • By using energy when it’s the cleanest you’re doing your bit by helping us to maximise the use of low carbon intensity electricity.  
  • It could reduce your bills – as renewable-powered generators cost money to build and maintain, but are relatively inexpensive to operate compared to traditional coal or gas-fired power stations, as they use solar and wind energy which is free. This all helps to bring down the cost of making electricity. 
  • Plus, if you’re on a flexible time of use tariff, your provider may even pay you to use electricity when there is too much power being generated by renewable supplies, and not enough demand to use it. This ensures that our green electricity is not wasted. 

In the five years up 2020, we reduced the average carbon intensity of Great Britain’s electricity system by 59% by getting less of our energy from traditional coal-fired power stations and helping more renewable generators connect to our electricity system. You’ve also helped us to meet that target by using less electricity. 

Read more about carbon intensity

Top 10 electricity saving tips 

  1. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs 
  2. Turn off appliances on standby 
  3. Be more energy-efficient with your fridge and freezer – clean the coils, keep them full, change the temperature – ideally your fridge should be between 3˚and 5˚C, while for your freezer it’s minus 18˚C. And don’t put hot food in – it uses more energy to cool the food. 
  4. Be more efficient when cooking. Things like keeping pots and pans covered will boil water faster, and keep the oven closed as much as possible. 
  5. Wash your clothes on a lower temperature 
  6. Air dry your clothes 
  7. Use natural light, give those bulbs a break. 
  8. Don’t overfill your kettle – just boil it for what you want to use it for. 
  9. Buy energy-efficient appliances. When it’s time to buy new, check it has the best A rating possible. 
  10. Take shorter showers. If your shower is electric, or you have an electric boiler, they can notch up some serious additions to your electricity bill. You don’t need to be in there for ages to get clean.