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Man shocked by the cost of leaving household appliances on standby

Stoke on Trent Live logo Stoke on Trent Live 17/08/2022 Alex Evans & Kit Roberts
One man has shared his findings of the cost of appliances on standby © Getty Images One man has shared his findings of the cost of appliances on standby

The cost of living crisis is continuing to spiral out of control, with energy prices set to increase further still come October. Many households have been left wondering how they will be able to afford to pay the bills as costs rise but wages stagnate.

One savvy man has found a way to monitor their electricity usage and see which devices are using the most in their house in an attempt to save money. This involves plugging in an electricity usage meter, which can measure the use of any given device in a property.

What he found was that several devices can rack up significant costs even when they are not in direct use. Leaving things on standby means they will continue to use up power, YorkshireLive reports.

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The results from the experiment shocked him as he discovered two appliances in particular were adding a huge amount to his bills just on standby alone. Posting on the UKPersonalFinance subreddit, the poster said: "Present cost is based on the Octopus caped rate of 29.58p per kwh. Projected cost assumes a 70% increase in October although it looks like it will be higher than this."

And his results were surprising as he discovered phone chargers actually cost very little, even plugged in, while 'older appliances' cost a lot to run. Leaving an Apple phone charger plugged into the wall cost nothing at all, the plug successfully turning off its power draw when not in use.

A microwave, though, cost an estimated £27 a year just to display the clock, while a Sky Q TV box on standby costs £48.46 on standby on October's cost projections, or £60.79 to run while recording, averaged out for a year. Another high cost was the Virgin Media wifi router, at £31.09 per year now or £52.86 on October price projections.

He said: "Contrary to belief, leaving a phone charger plugged in will not end up killing penguins in the Antarctic. It's worth checking your older appliances, for me the microwave was an eye opener. I'm paying £16 (soon to be £27) a year just to have the thing display "00:00" at me all the time. It's now switched off at the wall when not in use.

"Sky TV... I didn't expect over 9 watts when it's sitting there doing absolutely nothing. Both boxes are in 'eco mode'. I'm considering having my broadband router and ethernet switch on a timer. A timer costs around £7 and would pay for itself in just over a month if it switched them off for 8 hours a day. I may also do this with the Sky boxes."

Recently Ofgem has advised that it will change the way it calculates things and increase the price cap every 3 months instead of every 6, meaning regular price rises are going to become more commonplace still as the effects of Brexit, Covid and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine continue to keep wholesale energy costs high (despite record profits from energy firms like BP and Shell).

The latest predictions suggest the energy price cap will rise by a staggering 81 per cent in October which will take a typical bill to £3,582 a year. A further rise of 19 per cent is expected in January with average household bills set to increase to £5,038 in January. It would mean a monthly energy bill would now set you back £571 every month for an average household's energy use.

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