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26 Mar 2010
Stephen Jones Stephen Jones

Appliances: How much do yours cost to run?


Making a decision on which console to buy? Something you may not have considered is how much your chosen machine costs to run.

Home auto renewal

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 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?

Console Energy consumption (Watts) Usage to the penny: British Gas standard tariff Usage 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!

And bear in mind that if you work from home, the extra hours spent in the house, which would normally be spent in the office, will also push up your annual energy bills. If you run your business from home, and more than 50% of the energy you use is for business purposes, it’s worth considering a business energy account.

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.

Item Kwh per month >Cost per month (£)

Air Con (8 hours per day)



Electric heater (2 hours per day)



Cooker (Meals for a family of 4 every day)



Washing Machine (weekly washing for family of 4)



32” LCD TV (5 hours per day)



Lights [60 watts] (4 hours in the evening)



Laptop (5 hours per day)



Microwave (10 minutes per day)



Vacuum Cleaner (2 hours a week)



Hair dryer (5 minutes per day, 4 times a week)



Lawn Mower (once a week)



Hair Straighteners (5 minutes per day, 4 times a week)



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.


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