Check out expert-led answers to frequently asked questions about energy efficiency and appliances and which important domestic habits you should adopt that will help slash those electricity and water bills.

New fridge technology has definitely improved energy efficiency meaning new fridge freezes cost, often, significantly less to run. It could save you more than £60 to run a new fridge freezer compared to a similar model that is 10 years older.

For some models, the amount of water used in an eco cycle is about half of a 40 deg cotton cycle and a third of the energy.  Using this button could save you more than £40 a year in running costs.

You might not find a half load button on your machine if it’s relatively new because the load is now measured using sensors. When the machine is half-loaded the energy consumption is automatically decreased, sometimes by as much as 60%, and so is the water consumption. It also will need about half the detergent.

The cheapest way is to air dry them on a clothes rack or washing line however this is not always practical and is made difficult when the weather is cold and wet. Tumble dryers are very useful in the winter months – investing in a heat pump dryer, though more expensive, will save you over £100 per year in running costs compared to a condenser dryer. Our experts also recommend trying to use a dehumidifier, if you own one, to dry clothes in an enclosed space. Though not as speedy and convenient it could save you 50p every time you dry clothes compared to a condenser dryer.

You can save about £30 a year in running costs if you use your eco cycle for every wash. It uses 30% less energy and, in some models, uses as little as three eights the amount of water used by other settings.

A recent study has shown that washing 15 place settings in a dishwasher would use only 15 litres of water but to wash the same amount by hand would use 126 litres of water – that’s a saving of 18p every time you use the dishwasher instead of donning your marigolds.

No, it uses much less energy than an oven. It costs 55p in electricity to cook a baked potato in an oven but only 3p in the microwave – that is  over a 100% difference.

Gas hobs are the cheapest to run because of gas being cheaper, but induction hobs use less energy. They could save £32 a year compared to other electric hobs due to their clever use of magnetism so only the pan gets hot and not the glass surface or element, avoiding any wastage of energy.

No. If you have a coffee machine using it could save you about £340 a year in running costs. You would spend over £400 plus if you bought coffee from a mid-priced coffee chain, twice a week as opposed to just over £80 over the year to run your coffee machine and buying provisions for it.

Running costs for vacuum cleaners are about half compared to ten years ago. It now costs approximately £6 to run your vacuum cleaner for a year compared to £12 a decade ago.

Use the ‘standard’ setting whenever possible, especially on hard floors. Only use ‘turbo’ on tougher cleaning surfaces, like carpets

Standy-by doesn’t use as much energy as people assume. Those wanting to save fractional bits of energy are welcome to turn off their appliances’ standby but it’s sobering to know, since regulations bought in since 2008, that if an appliance was left on standby 24 hours a day it would still only cost you £2.39 at the most, over the year. Regulations on ‘connected’ smart appliances have a slightly higher limit but most don’t reach it. A connected robot vacuum cleaner, left on for 24 hours for a whole year(!) would still only consume £4.79. 

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