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Appliances: How much do yours cost to run?

Plug being inserted in socket Making a decision on which console to buy? Something you may not have considered is how much your chosen machine costs to run. While you may think that the main consoles are much the same when it comes to energy use, in truth this isn’t the case at all.

Looking at the three main consoles - the Xbox, Wii and PS3 – the Confused.com team analysed the amount of game time you can get for a penny. The results, it’s fair to say, were startling, as the table below shows:

How much gaming does a penny buy?

How much gaming a penny buys
ConsoleEnergy consumption (Watts)Usage to the penny: British Gas standard tariffUsage to the penny: Best tariff (First Utility iSave3)
Wii 17 4hrs 12mins 6hrs 34mins
Xbox 165 26mins 41mins
PS3 205 20mins 33mins

 

So, according to our calculations, one penny will buy you a mammoth 6 hours and 34 minutes minutes on our best buy tariff, making the Wii almost ten times more energy efficient than its nearest rival, the Xbox, which comes in way behind with 41 minutes. Trailing in last place is the PS3, with 1p getting you just 33 minutes of game time at best.

In real terms, this means that six hours’ daily gaming on a PS3 will cost you around £5.49 a month using a standard electricity tariff, and £3.32 on the best buy; that means switching could save you £1.17 a month on just one appliance. While that may not sound a lot on its own, when you add it to the cost of running your laptops, TVs, washing machines and hair straighteners, it can all contribute to a pretty tidy sum!

The rest of the house

So how much do your other appliances cost to run? Here’s a rundown of typical usage for each product and the cost of this on a standard tariff.

How much other applicances cost to run
ItemKwh per monthCost per month (£)
Air Con (8 hours per day) 492 59.33
Electric heater (2 hours per day) 144 17.36
Cooker (Meals for a family of 4 every day) 60 7.24
Washing Machine (weekly washing for family of 4) 36 4.34
32” LCD TV (5 hours per day) 19.7 2.38
Lights [60 watts] (4 hours in the evening) 7.2 0.87
Laptop (5 hours per day) 4.2 0.51
Microwave (10 minutes per day) 4 0.48
Vacuum Cleaner (2 hours a week) 4 0.48
Hair dryer (5 minutes per day, 4 times a week) 3.33

0.40

Lawn Mower (once a week) 3 0.36
Hair Straighteners (5 minutes per day, 4 times a week) 2.46

0.30

As you can see, the biggest costs are typically on managing the temperature of your home. For those that rely on air conditioning during the summer, you can clearly see the massive amount of energy used by doing so – equally, electric heaters are also pretty pricey. It might sound obvious, but this clearly shows that simple things like keeping the door shut or opening a window (depending on the weather) could go a long, long way to reducing your energy bills drastically.

Further tips?

If you’re looking for more tips to cut your energy use, we’ve got an exclusive video interview with E.ON's energy efficiency manager Kevin Bryant, which could be just the thing you need.

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Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones was a reporter for Confused.com between 2009 and 2010, writing personal finance news and blogs. He has since moved on to MSN Money but continues to write for Confused.com.

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