The 7 Household Appliances That Use The Most Electricity

Tumble dryers are the most energy-intensive household appliance

Microwaves and air fryers consume less energy than ovens and hobs

It’s worth splashing out on a more energy-efficient model, if you can.

The price of energy is ridiculously high in the UK, which makes paying the cost for solar panels all the more appealing because of their ability to reduce energy bills, carbon emissions, and grid reliance.

Not everyone can get solar panels however, so we’re here to help you work out what appliances are guzzling the most electricity in your home.

But what are the top household appliances that use the most electricity? Let’s find out.

Person loading the dishwasher at home

What’s on this page?

Which home appliances use the most electricity?

A handful of appliances consume a lot more electricity than other household products – we’ve listed the top offenders in the table below.

ApplianceElectricity usage per yearEstimated annual cost*

Tumble dryer (four washes a week)

936 kWh


Electric oven (seven hours a week)

910 kWh


Washing machine (four washes a week)

436.8 kWh


Dishwasher (five washes a week)

390 kWh


Electric hob (seven hours a week)

365 kWh


Electric shower (10 minutes every day)

299.5 kWh


F-rated** 70/30 287-litre fridge freezer

275 kWh


*These prices are based on electricity prices as of October 2022, which is 34p per kWh

**An F-rated fridge-freezer was formerly an A+ rated one before the official ranking system changed in 2021

A lot of people can’t live with some of these appliances, as they’re products that we rely on for a healthy lifestyle. And with the government introducing an 80% gas boiler phaseout by 2035, even more people will be using electricity to power these everyday appliances.

Top tips for cutting down your electricity use at home

If looking at the amount of electricity these household appliances get through is making you feel anxious, don’t worry – there are ways you can soften the blow on your bills.

Obviously, if you can cut back on any of these products – even if it’s just one less clothes wash a week – you should definitely give it a shot. However, a lot of people are already cutting back on the amount of energy they use at home, with no scope to make any more sacrifices.

Alternatively, you can try and find smarter ways to use these appliances. We’ve outlined a few tricks below on how you can make the most energy-consuming appliances less of a burden on your wallet.

Tumble dryer

  • Keep the lint and evaporator filters clean – Blocked filters make the motor work harder and increase energy consumption
  • Keep your dryer in a well-ventilated room – This can prevent overheating, which often means the machine will have to work harder
  • Don’t overload the drum – Not only can this damage the tumble dryer, but it can also take the clothes longer to dry, as there won’t be enough room for the clothes to air out
  • Don’t underload the drum – Remember, the fewer loads you do each week, the more energy you’ll save
  • If possible, use sensor-drying programmes – This setting stops the drying cycle when the clothes have dried. However, it’s not available in all tumble dryers
  • Use dryer balls – These work by soaking up excess water and improving airflow, which shortens the amount of time the clothes take to dry

Electric oven

  • Don’t open the oven door while cooking – This means you’ll avoid losing heat in the oven
  • Turn off the oven five minutes before you’re finished – The oven will continue cooking the food, even when it’s gradually cooling down
  • Cook food in smaller pieces – Food baked in smaller portions can cook much faster
  • Give it some TLC – Make sure to keep your oven clean and up to date with any maintenance, which will keep it ticking along nicely
  • Choose your baking containers wisely – Ceramic and glass containers retain temperature very well. However, if you’re cooking for a short period of time, a metal container or tray might work better, as it absorbs heat very quickly
  • Switch to more energy-efficient ways to cook – Consider swapping to an air fryer

Washing machine

  • Choose a cool setting – Lower temperatures use less energy. In fact, the European Union’s Ecodesign initiative has made a 20-degree option compulsory on new machine models since 2013
  • Don’t underfill the drum – Again, the fewer loads you do each week, the more energy you’ll save
  • Maintain your machine – Cleaning the machine’s filter every month and doing a monthly hot wash without clothes can prevent clogging. You should also make sure not to overload the drum, as it could damage the washing machine, and makes the machine less efficient


  • Wait until you have a full load – This way, you can reduce the number of cycles you’ll need to do each week
  • Maintain your dishwasher – Always use good-quality detergent and keep the inside of your dishwasher clean and free of food scraps. This will limit limescale build-up and clogging, which avoids damages and can also impact the machine’s efficiency

Electric hob

  • Boil the water first – It’s more energy-efficient to use the kettle to boil the water before transferring it to a pan on the hob
  • Make sure you use the right size hob – You’ll waste energy if you use a large pan on a small hob burner

Electric shower

The most obvious way to reduce energy in the shower is to limit the amount of time you’re in there, but that’s not always an option for everyone.

You can also decrease the amount of energy your electric shower gets through by investing in an efficient shower head. There are two that you can go for:

  • Non-aerating shower heads – These work by forcing the water through smaller holes to produce a high-pressure flow
  • Aerating shower heads – These work by restricting the flow of water and mixing it with air. This makes the water appear to flow at the same volume as a normal shower head and results in a more gentle showering experience

Fridge freezer

  • Keep the door shut as much as possible – After you let all that hot air into your fridge, it’ll have to work much harder to get back to the optimal temperature
  • Check the door seals are working – You don’t want any warm air seeping into your fridge. One way to test this is by holding some paper where the door shuts, and then shutting it. If the paper starts falling, you need to fix the seal on your fridge doors
  • Keep it clean – About once a year, you should turn off the fridge and then vacuum/brush away any dust around the coils on the back of the fridge
  • Adjust the settings – Fridge freezers don’t need to be set at the coldest setting. The ideal temperature for freezers is -15°C to -18°C, whereas for fridges that’s 3°C to 4°C
  • Make sure it’s in the right location – Try to make sure that the coils at the back are at least three inches from a wall, which will help keep it well ventilated. You also want to avoid keeping your fridge away from any appliances that generate heat

Buy energy-efficient products

Once your appliances come to the end of their life, it’s worth splashing out on a more energy-efficient model if you can.

Although they typically cost more, they should last longer, and consume less electricity.

Use electrical appliances in off-peak times

Using electricity during off-peak times of the day is much cheaper because fewer people are demanding energy from suppliers.

Off-peak electricity usually runs between 11pm and 8am, but it’ll depend on your specific energy company.

If you’re at home at different times of the day, it’s worth checking with your energy supplier when your off-peak hours are, so you can use the energy-intensive appliances during this time.

Child using the washing machine

Which home appliances are the most efficient?

Despite people relying on electronics more than ever over the past decade, energy consumption has actually reduced. In fact, the UK’s electricity consumption in 2021 fell to its second-lowest level this century.

This is mainly due to the fact that most household-product manufacturers have improved their energy efficiency over time.

This means that, compared to the appliances we listed above, most household items are pretty cheap to run – although, they’ll be more expensive now the price of electricity has increased.

Some of the most efficient household appliances include:

  • Microwaves – Roughly £30.16 a year
  • Air fryers – Roughly £52.52 a year
  • Kettles – Roughly £10.60 a year
  • TV – Roughly £20–£30 a year
  • 3W LED light – Roughly £1.86 a year

You can read more about how energy efficient air fryers are on our page.


Watching the price of electricity go up can feel daunting, especially given how much most homes rely on it nowadays.

If you’re trying to find ways to use less energy around the home, it’s worth trying out some of our tips. However, the current energy crisis has meant that even whilst people are trying to cut back on energy, their bills will still be extremely expensive.

Want to go a step further? Check out our page on How to Prepare for the October Price Cap Rise, where you can find more helpful ways on how to deal with the rising cost of energy.

Written by:
Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.
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