Revealed: The cost of leaving household devices on standby

3 min Read Published: 29 Apr 2022

Revealed: The cost of leaving household devices on standbySo-called 'vampire' devices are costing UK households an average of £147 a year according to energy supplier British Gas. A 'vampire' device is a term given to household electronics that are left on standby overnight and in this article, we reveal the estimated cost of the 10 worst offenders.

How much does it cost to leave a device on standby?

Back in 2019, British Gas revealed the estimated average annual cost of leaving popular electronic devices on standby overnight and it has recently updated the figures, taking into account the latest energy prices. Below is a list of electronic devices and the average cost per year if leaving them on standby overnight.

Electronic Device Estimated annual cost of leaving it on standby overnight
Television £24.61
Sky or Virgin Box £23.10
Internet Router £18.89
Microwave £16.37
Games Console £12.17
Computer £11.22
Shower £9.80
Dishwasher £6.86
Tumble Dryer £4.79

Research by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimated that between 9% and 16% of total electricity consumed in homes, is used to power appliances while in standby mode. To demonstrate this point, a games console and TV will use around 130 watts and 40 watts respectively while in use, with both using around 10 watts while in standby mode.

While turning off energy-sapping devices every night may be too time-consuming for some, the savings can be significant and there are ways to make the task a little less onerous. You could consider plugging multiple devices into one extension lead, meaning there is only one switch to turn off at night or alternatively you could invest in some smart plugs which will automate the process for you.

Tips to avoid paying more than you need on energy bills

The research by British Gas is a reminder that there are simple things we can do that can help reduce our energy costs. Below we have summarised some other tips that can help reduce your energy bill.

  • Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree
  • Use energy-efficient lightbulbs
  • Upgrade appliances
  • Wear the right clothes and close doors
  • Take shorter showers
  • Wash clothes at a lower temperature
  • Check for draughts and fix them

For tips on how to save money on other household bills, check out our article 'How to save money on your household bills'