Turning off 'phantom' appliances could save you big on your energy bills

Close-up of the screen of a smart meter display in a kitchen, showing the monthly cost of electricity and gas so far.
(Image credit: Getty)

With rising living costs and inflation at its highest level in 30 years, there's a chance for struggling families to save up £80 this year by turning off appliances that use energy even on standby.

Gas prices are already nearly four times what they were in 2020. Prices have risen due to a variety of global factors, including increasing demand following the lockdown and export difficulties.

Consumers are feeling the pinch, placing pressure on their energy bills and putting them in a desperate position. But don't panic; there are a number of basic money-saving tactics that can help you in boosting your savings.

To save money, Loop, a smart metre data analyst, has revealed which items in the home use the most energy. Ghost appliances are expected to account for one-third of all energy bills, costing roughly £506 per year for the 275w consumed.

By being switched on or on standby, desktop computers can waste nearly £80 each year.

Credit: Getty Images

Forgetting to turn it off might cost £79 more per year, according to Loop.

Similarly, extra fridges could cost you an extra £99 per year to keep running, and oversensitive outdoor security lights, including those that come on when they detect movement, could cost you an extra £50.

Outdoor decorative lights are likely to be considerably more costly, with Loop estimating that two 60w lights left on for 10 hours overnight could add £125 to your annual bill.

Loop's Head of Data Science, Steve Buckley, notes,"Many people I speak to are really worried about their energy bills right now, and sadly the situation is not set to improve for some time yet.

"The reality is that the only way we can lower our energy bills right now is to reduce the amount of energy we use and the key to that is measuring our use. If you measure it, you can control it. If you measure it, you can see the impact of changes you make."

Credits: Getty Images

One of those minor adjustments could be as simple as changing the way you use your kettle, which could save you hundreds of pounds each year in energy costs.

As Steve adds,"Understanding whether your phantom load is low, medium or high is the first step towards reducing it and can lead to big savings.

"Our app connects to your smart meter so you can benchmark against other households and track your usage and use the data to your advantage. You can easily identify the culprits draining your energy and adding pounds to your bills."

Kudzai Chibaduki
Features Writer

Kudzai Chibaduki joined Future as a trainee news writer for Good To, writing about fashion, entertainment, and beauty. She's now a freelance fashion wardrobe stylist and helps direct magazine photoshoots.