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Student Accommodation

How much does energy cost per hour?

Ever wondered how much your daily shower costs, or if watching hours of TV really makes a difference to your bill? We've got the figures.

two lightbulbs and a laptop

Credit: TierneyMJ, paitoon - Shutterstock

Oh, energy bills. They always seem to appear at the worst of times and strike you when you're down (or freezing cold). And unfortunately, you can't do anything to avoid them.

While we can't batter your bills into non-existence, we can help to explain the seemingly random amounts you're charged each month.

From your laptop and mobile phone to your fridge and tumble dryer, we've worked out how much energy your appliances use and how much it costs to run them. That way, you know where to cut back and where you can perhaps afford to be a bit more liberal.

The figure we used to calculate the prices is based on the energy price cap between 1st April and 30th June 2024. The wattage for each appliance is taken from an average.

How much do electrical appliances cost to use?

AppliancePower usage (Watts)Cost per hourHours used per dayCost per month
Energy saving lightbulb11£0.0035£0.46
Digital TV box6£0.0013£0.09
Mobile charger5£0.0018£0.24
Washing machine700£0.1720.35***£1.83
Tumble dryer2,400£0.5880.15***£2.68
Heated blanket150£0.0373£3.38

* Average of using the kettle three times per day
** Average of a 10-minute shower per day
*** One wash load per week (2.5 hours for washing machine, 45 minutes for tumble dryer).

How to calculate appliance electricity cost

To figure out how much it costs to run your appliances, you can use the following method:

  1. Find the wattage of your appliance – this is usually stamped on the bottom or back. Alternatively, you can look it up online.
  2. Calculate the kilowatt hour (kWh) for your appliances by dividing the watts by 1000. For example, if your laptop uses 75 watts, the kWh is 75/1000 = 0.075 kWh.
  3. Multiply this by the price per kWh, which currently is 24.5p. This will show you the price of using the device for one hour. For example: 0.075 kWh x £0.245 = £0.018 per hour.
  4. Then, multiply it by the hours you use it per day. For example, if you use your laptop for six hours per day: £0.018 x 6 = £0.11 per day.

While not all appliances will be running at full power constantly, this calculation still gives you a general idea of how much they cost to run.

If you want to work out how to save the cash equivalent of a good night out (or five) off your energy bills, you can use our table above or calculate the cost on your own.

Please note that the figures in the table are based on just one person or one appliance. If you're in a house of six, you'll all be wanting a daily shower (we hope) and probably have your own laptop and phone charger.

Obviously, there are a lot of other electrical appliances that we haven't included in our list that you'll also have to pay for when you use them. On top of that, there is a daily standing charge added to your energy bills.

Leaving your stuff on standby is a surefire way to hit your wallet hard – the costs can add up quickly! There's no benefit you get from leaving any appliances on when you're not using them, and turning them off is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you're looking to save cash, there are loads of other ways to cut back, so make sure to check our top tips to save on energy bills. Usually, it's also a good idea to compare tariffs, but while the majority of providers are charging the price cap, it's very difficult to switch to a cheaper deal.

Not sure if you're paying the best prices for your energy? We've compared the cheapest energy providers for you.

Jake Butler

WRITTEN BY Jake Butler

Jake joined Save the Student in 2010 and is the COO. As an expert across student finance, Jake has appeared on The BBC, The Guardian, Which?, ITV, Channel 5 and many other outlets. He particularly enjoys sharing tips on saving money and making extra money with opportunities like paid surveys and part-time jobs.
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