Cheapest time to run expensive household appliances – it’s when ‘costs can be 50% lower’

The business energy bill experts Bionic have calculated the average cost of all the main appliances you are likely to use this Christmas and has also provided top tips for cutting your energy bills whilst still enjoying the festivities. 

They have found that an average household could spend just over £200 just by running electrical appliances from the week beginning with Christmas Day to the 31st January. 

Taking the top spots are TVs and heating. If a television is on for 62 hours per week, this would cost £102 and if the heating were on eight hours a day for a week it would cost around £94.

An oven running for nine hours (three on Christmas Day, and one every other day of the week) would add up to £7.38, a dishwasher being run for two one-hour loads each day would cost £5.74 and Christmas lights left on for five hours a day for a week comes to £4.77. The total of all this is around £213.89.

Calculations were based on the average unit charge of 27.35p per kWh and average wattage for each appliance type. 

Business energy bills expert at Bionic, Les Roberts, suggests rethinking the time of day large appliances, such as dishwashers, are being used.

He said: “It is worth noting that if you are currently on a time-of-use tariff or off-peak tariff, the price of energy will be lower at times when the grid is under less pressure and demand is lowest, which tends to be between 10pm to 8am. 

“Costs can sometimes be 50 percent lower during these hours so it is worth putting your Christmas day dishwasher load on overnight, for example.”

Utility comparison expert at Compare the Market Sajni Shah also recommends using expensive household appliances during these hours for those on “time-of-use tariffs”.

She said: “The cheapest off-peak electricity times can vary between providers, where you live and the time of year. But electricity is generally cheapest between 10pm and 8am.

“This means that electricity will typically be more expensive during the peak hours from 8am to 10pm.”

Aside from using appliances at certain times, households could consider an alternative cooking method for their roast, such as using a slow cooker or air fryer. 

A 200W slow cooker costs just 0.06p per hour to run and is considered “the most energy-efficient kitchen appliance”.

When boiling vegetables, turn the hob off before the end of the cooking time. The remaining heat will cook your vegetables through whilst the amount of energy used is reduced. 

What’s more, avoid leaving appliances on standby that can be switched off. A 2021 study found that watching hours can inflate to a huge 62 hours over the festive period. 

Leaving your TV on standby means it is still using as much as “75 percent of the energy”. Switching off appliances from the wall could save your household up to £40 over a year.

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