With energy bills still making up a significant portion of our household costs, many people will be looking at ways to cut back on electricity expenses.

It’s no secret that electrical devices such as phone chargers, games consoles and even dishwashers can use some power while they’re on standby – but it’s not a lot, right?

Well, while they may not use much electricity when they’re ‘resting’, they do use some, and across a year this can quickly add up.

Stephen Hankinson, energy efficiency expert at Electric Radiators Direct explains: “Putting something into standby mode is not the same as totally switching off a device or unplugging it. You’re only really putting the device to sleep.

“This means that it will be drawing down some electricity in the background, which is where the phrase ‘vampire device’ comes from.”

So how much energy do these vampire devices use while on standby? And what could that be costing you per year?

To help, the expert team at Electric Radiators Direct have done some calculations and estimated that by unplugging 20 common appliances when they aren’t in use, you could save yourself as much as £131 a year – based on the new price capped unit cost (from April 2024).

That’s the equivalent of 14% off the average annual electricity bill.

The biggest savings can be made from unplugging games consoles, as these can cost as much as £32 a year to keep on standby. Gaming PCs (£21), TVs (£14) and desktop computers (£18) are also big secret energy ‘drainers’.

Even devices such as washing machines and tumble dryers use a tiny bit of power in the background, as do phone and electric toothbrush chargers.

This is how much your appliances could be costing you on standby over the course of a year.

  • Kettle - £4.94
  • Microwave - £4.72
  • Oven - £7.73
  • Air Fryer  - £3.86
  • Washing Machine - £1.14
  • Tumble Dryer - £1.14
  • Dishwasher - £1.14
  • Single Lamp - £1.01
  • Electric Hob - £0.58
  • Slow Cooker - £3.86
  • Coffee Machine - £1.93
  • Phone Charger - £1.14
  • Electric Toothbrush Charger - £1.44
  • Electric Shaver - £1.03
  • Vacuum Charger - £1.44
  • TV - £13.52
  • Games Console - £32.19
  • Gaming PC - £20.82
  • Desktop Computer - £18.03
  • Speaker / Digital Radio - £9.44
  • Total Estimated Cost Saving by Switching Off - £131.09 per year

Stephen added: “It’s so simple but switching your appliances off at the wall really is the best way to ensure you’re not spending your hard-earned income on keeping things in standby mode.

“£130 is a big food shop, two tanks of petrol or even a nice meal out. There really are much better ways to use this money than giving it to the energy companies.”