Mr Johnson made the suggestion, then became tongue-tied, as he pledged millions in funding for the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Plant in Suffolk.
“If you have an old kettle that takes ages to boil, it may cost you £20 to replace it. But if you get a new one, you’ll save £10 a year for every year.....£10 a year, every year, on your electricity bill,” he said.
“You have to look ahead, you have to be aware of a false economy.”
His comments have attracted widespread criticism from Labour MPs and members of the public online.
Shadow Minister for Business and Industry Bill Esterson tweeted: “Boris Johnson’s answer to millions of people who face energy bill increases of thousands of pounds? Buy a new kettle and save a tenner. Is he seriously out of touch or is it that he just doesn’t care or both?”
Former Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal wrote: “We have waited ages for Boris Johnson & the Govt of which Liz Truss is a part to advise us what we should do about the extraordinary living crisis that we are facing and FINALLY who knew the answer was a NEW KETTLE?”
Twitter user Katy said: “Thank goodness for Boris Johnson all we need to do to save ourselves from a winter of nightmarish bills is to spend £20 on a new kettle and in three years it will save us £10! Why didn’t I think of that before?!?”
Mr Johnson announced £700 million of Government funding to push ahead with the nuclear power plant project, at an eventual cost of £20-30 billion.
It comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plunged the UK into an energy crisis, because of its large relience on gas to produce electricity.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of OVO Energy warned on Thursday: “If we don’t use every available moment over the next 12 weeks to solve this, we are going to see a winter like never before with people going hungry and going cold and the NHS being overwhelmed by the health impacts of the energy crisis.”
UK household budgets will be hit harder than any country in western Europe, analysis by the International Monetary Fund found.
In terms of the share of electricity generated by gas, the UK is at 40 per cent, Germany at 15 per cent and Denmark at 6 per cent, the Guardian reports.
The cost of living crisis will be one of the most pressing issues for the new prime minister, announced on Monday.
Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss has signalled that she will offer more support to households struggling with energy bills, as well as cutting taxes, including reversing the National Insurance contributions hike.
“I will also deliver immediate support to ensure people are not facing unaffordable fuel bills,” she told The Sun.
Her leadership rival, former chancellor Mr Sunak, is proposing temporarily axing VAT from energy bills, as well as more support for the less well-off.