Some home appliances may seem to use a lot of energy such as electric ovens, dishwashers or washing machines but it’s the humble kettle that uses the most.
On average the kettle uses about 6% of all the electricity supplied to British homes. While an electric oven doesn’t always get used every day, a kettle is used daily to make your essential cups of tea, coffee and other hot drinks.
Here are some approximate power ratings for different domestic appliances. A kettle typically has a high rating but can be used 5 to 10 times a day for two to three minutes each time.
|Electric shower||7000-10,500W||Electric mower||500-1500W|
|Tumble dryer||2000-3000W||Heating blanket||130-200W|
|Vacuum cleaner||500-1200W||LCD TV||125-200W|
|Towel rail||250W||Video, DVD or CD||20-60W|
|Deep fryer||1200W||TV box||30-40W|
|Dehumidifier||300-700W||Smart phone (charge)||2.5-5W|
Ideally an energy efficient kettle should have a good power rating and insulated walls so it doesn’t lose too much energy while heating water. However this is not the biggest opportunity for saving energy.
Tom Baxter, visiting professor of chemical engineering at Strathclyde University has suggested that a very simple and free action we can all take to cut electricity usage is to fill a kettle with only the amount of water needed – saving £19 from a £600 average annual electricity bill.
There’s no extra kit to buy here, just a small change in behaviour leading to good habits.
While we sell very efficient kettles with temperature controls – see our eco-kettles – only replace your current kettle when it has stopped working. Keep it well maintained by descaling it when necessary.
When you are using your kettle don’t overfill it and use exactly the amount of water you need for your drinks. If you use anymore then you are wasting money and adding Carbon to the atmosphere unnecessarily.
A single mug has a capacity of about 350 ml which is less than the supposed commonly ‘minimum’ of 0.5 l or 500 ml on many kettles. Get into the habit of using a little less than the minimum 0.5 l for a single mug and you will save on bills and carbon emissions.
Check out this electricity costs calculator to work out your costs for each domestic appliance: electricity costs calculator