Energy use in the home has become something of a hot potato in recent years.
What with climate change, the war in Ukraine and the world’s finite recourses starting to run low, we’re all paying much more attention to how we use the appliances in our houses.
It’s something we should have been doing years ago but better late than never!
It’s also great training for when you have a solar energy system because the way you use your appliances will dictate how long your battery lasts.
So, let’s take a look at the top energy eating devices in the home, and how to manage them.

Hot appliances

The big electricity guzzlers in the home are usually the appliances that makes things hot … or make them cold.

When it comes to heat, your most expensive appliances are things like ovens, heaters, and tumble dryers.

We’ll take a look at what they consume in kWh as that’s how you get charged for your electricity. It’s also how batteries are rated so this will give you an idea how much energy storage you need.

ApplianceRatingUsage a day (Average)Cost per daykWhCost per year
Oven2.1 kW1 hour£0.712.1 kWh£259.15
Oil Radiator2 k kW4 hours£2.728 kWh£992.80
Storage Heater1.5 kW4 hours£2.046 kWh£744.60
Tumble Dryer5.2 kW1 hour£1.765.2 kWh£642.40
Electric Heater4.5 kW4 hours£6.1218 kWh£2,233.80
Electric Blanket0.1 kW1 hour£0.030.1 kWh£10.95
Hair Dryer1.8 kW10 mins£0.180.18 kWh£65.70
Steam Iron1.1 kW1 hour£0.371.1 kWh£135.05
Shower8.4 kW30 mins£1.404.2 kWh£511
Dishwasher1.8 kW1 hour£0.611.8 kWh£222.65

If you have an electric heater, we suggest you get rid of it!
Now, this is how much it costs to run, but later we’ll have a look at how much actual charge a few of these items uses and why that is important.
But first …

Cold Appliances

It is much cheaper to stay cool in your home, as freezers etc are fairly economical, but they need to be because we usually run them 24 hours a day.
Not great news for us Brits with our 4 days of summer a year, but let’s take a look at how we can cope on those days.

ApplianceRatingUsage a day (Average)kWhCost per dayCost per year
Fridge0.06 kW24 hours1.44 kWh£0.49£178.85
Chest Freezer0.03 kW24 hours0.72 kWh£0.24£87.60
Fridge Freezer0.02 kW24 hours048 kWh£0.16£58.40
Air Con2.8 kW3 hours8.4 kWh£0.95£347.48
Ceiling Fan0.03 kW8 hours0.24 kWh£0.24£87.60

While these items, apart from the Air Con, are all fairly light energy users, they cost a fair whack over a full year.

Other big energy users in the home

Of course, it’s not all about the hot and the cold, many items we use in the home are still on 24/7, slowly ramping up the power you use and the cost of running your house.

ApplianceRatingUsage a day (Average)kWhCost per dayCost per year
40’’ TV0.12 kWh4 hours0.48 kWh£0.16£58.40
Desktop Computer0.6 kWh8 hours4.8 kWh£1.63£594.95
Game Console0.35 kWh2 hours0.7 kWh0.24£87.60
Laptop0.05 kWh8 hours0.4 kWh£0.14£51.10
EV Car Charger 7 kWh10 hours70 kWh23.80£8687
Smart Speakers 0.02 kWh4 hours0.08 kWh£0.03£10.95
Lights0.2 kWh2 hours0.4 kWh£0.14£51.10

The number for the car looks pretty big here, but that is for a full charge and, we reckon, still cheaper than fossil fuels.

Managing your power consumption.

When you turn an electrical appliance on it takes power from the source it is connected to – this creates what is called a ‘load’ on that source.
Solar Batteries come with excellent management systems, and they are there to ensure you cannot overload the battery.
For instance, if you come home from work and fire up the oven, the heaters and plug the car into charge, you will put a heavy load on your battery.

This will make the voltage available from your battery drop, and the management system will think it has less charge than it does – so it may well restrict the flow into the house.
This isn’t a bad thing, it’s to protect the batteries and ensure you are getting everything you can out of them.
Batteries have a finite lifecycle, and solar batteries are about 6000, which means they can be charged and discharged 6000 times.
Adding heavy loads to the battery will obviously increase the amount of charging your batteries has to do and shorten its life.
The Battery managements system is constantly monitoring the temperature of the battery so it won’t get damaged by becoming too hot or too cold,
Not something we need to worry about in the UK too much, but if we have a hot or a cold snap your battery management system may report a lower voltage than the battery actually has – again, this is to ensure the battery doesn’t get too hot.
This is also why we don’t put all our devices on at once if we are using power from the battery – so put the oven on THEN put the heater on …. then charge your car.

Related posts

Smart Export Guarantee Rates (Updated 2023)

0% VAT on Solar Panels and Batteries

What is green energy?

Solar Panel Grants and Government Schemes