Five 'worst appliances' to leave on standby that add a 'noticeable amount' to your bills

Leaving appliances on standby can drain energy and increase bills. As the cost of living crisis continues to cripple, it's becoming increasingly crucial to turn off appliances or tech when they're not in use.

Many households may be unaware of which items in their home are the biggest culprits for consuming energy when left on standby. Liz Hunter, Director at Money Expert, has identified the top five "worst appliances" for energy consumption when left on standby.

She explained: “The term, ’vampire device’, is used to describe electrical devices that continue to drain power when they’re plugged in but not actually being used, such as leaving a television on standby.

READ MORE: New Alexa skills tells you when's a good time to use electricity

“Although this may be convenient, it will be contributing to your already increasing energy bill. Whilst it may not seem like a major problem in the short term, over the course of a year the aggregate cost of leaving multiple devices on standby can add a noticeable extra amount onto your bills.

"Some of the most common 'vampire devices' include microwaves, computer monitors, coffee machines, white goods and chargers.", reports the Express.

While some devices like a modem or a fridge need to be kept on all day, most electronic devices can be turned off at the plug when not in use to save money. Here are the "five worst appliances to keep on standby", and by turning these off "you could save up to £75 a year".

1. Games console

According to an expert, a games console left on standby could be unnecessarily adding an additional £30 to energy bills. This is in addition to daily usage costs, which can vary depending on how long the device is used.

It's only necessary to leave games consoles on when they're in use, so ensure they're switched off, especially overnight, to save both money and energy.

2. Microwave

If your microwave has a clock display that you often rely on, then it's worth leaving this device plugged in at all times.

However, Liz suggested that for those who don't really need this function, it might be beneficial to unplug or switch off at the mains as it adds up to £17 per year to an energy bill.

3. Desktop computer

With many people now working remotely or in a hybrid manner, there has been a significant shift in how we work. This means that desktop computers and computer screens are being used at home much more frequently.

However, leaving these devices plugged in when they're not in use could be adding an additional £13 per year to energy bills. So, make sure you're turning these off when work is done to avoid using unnecessary power.

Liz pointed out that those who are home or hybrid workers may even be able to claim tax relief towards extra household costs, even if it's just one day a week.

She advised: "This can be from £6 a week and can be backdated from 6 April 2020. What's more, you don't need to keep evidence of any additional costs, however, if you need to claim more than the weekly amount of £6 then you will need to provide evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts. You can claim this relief through the government website."

4. Tumble dryers

Given the unpredictable weather in the UK, many people prefer using tumble dryers over washing lines for drying laundry. However, since tumble dryers are notorious for their high energy consumption, leaving them on but not in use could unnecessarily increase your annual energy bill by approximately £7.

To counteract this, try using an air drying rack and take advantage of dry days by making good use of your washing line.

5. Washing machines

Despite being deemed an "essential appliance", the typical washing machine uses about £4 worth of electricity per day. This figure amplifies if the machine is left on standby and not being utilised, potentially adding an extra £7 to your annual bill.

While it may prove difficult to unplug washing machines depending on their location, you could save energy by only operating full loads and lowering the temperature to 30 degrees. For those who have access to the plug, switching it off can also save money.

If you're considering purchasing a new washing machine, it's wise to scrutinise the energy rating, as A+++ rated eco-friendly models can help conserve energy and minimise expenditure over time.