High Electricity Bills? These Appliances Are the Most Expensive to Run

Updated on June 20, 2020
eugbug profile image

Eugene is a qualified control/instrumentation engineer Bsc (Eng) and has worked as a developer of electronics & software for SCADA systems.


How Much Does Electricity Cost?

With the cost of electricity rising all the time, it is nice to know how the various electrical appliances in the home are contributing to the cost of your electricity bill.

In this short hub, I try to give a comprehensive list of appliances and an estimate of the cost of running them. The power used by an appliance can differ somewhat from the values quoted but these are typical values. The cost per hour is based on a price of 10c per unit, you can scale up depending on what your electricity supply company charges you.
For more detailed info about electricity, covering volts, watts, amps etc, see this article:

What is Electricity? Understanding Volts, Amps, Watts, Ohms, AC and DC

Electricity Cost Calculator

Cost = (Power in watts / 1000) x (cost per unit in cents) x time in hours


To work out the cost of running an appliance, we use this equation:

Cost = (Power in watts / 1000) x (cost per unit in cents) x time in hours

E.g. An electric heater with a 2000-watt rating is switched on for 2 hours. If electricity costs 10 c per unit, how much does it cost to power the appliance for this period?

Power in watts = 2000

Cost per unit = 10

Time in hours = 2

Cost = (Power in watts / 1000) x (cost per unit in cents) x time in hours

= (2000 / 1000) x 10 x 2 = 40 cents

The heater is rated at 2000 watts. This means it uses 2000/1000 = 2 units or kilowatt hours (kwh) in 1 hour. If it was switched on for 15 minutes, it would have used 2000/1000 x 0.25 = 1/2 a kWh. So basically you just need to work out the power in kilowatts by dividing the power in watts by 1000 and then multiply the result by the number of hours followed by the the cost per kWh in cents (or whatever your local currency is)

What is a Kilowatt Hour Meter or Electricity Meter?

The utility company that supplies you with electricity keeps track of your energy usage using a kilowatt hour meter, fitted inside your home or on the wall outside. This meter measures voltage, current and time and displays the result in units or kWh on a mechanical counter display. Newer meters are replacing the older electromechanical types and have electronic displays that plus they can also be read wirelessly.

Kilowatt Hour Meter

An electromechanical kilowatt hour meter
An electromechanical kilowatt hour meter | Source

How Do I Know the Wattage of an Appliance?

The voltage, wattage and possibly the current will be specified on the appliance. This information may be embossed into the casing or printed on a label/metal panel. Sometimes this label is located at the back of the appliance e.g. on TVs, washing machines, freezers or other white goods. On kettles, food processors, etc, this information may be printed on the underside.

Information Labels on Appliances

Typical electrical appliance labels/panels
Typical electrical appliance labels/panels | Source

Which Appliances Use The Most Power?

Air conditioning, electric showers, clothes driers (tumble driers), room heaters and water heaters (immersion heaters) are the most energy hungry appliances. Kettles are also high powered appliances, however since they are turned on for a relatively short period of time, the overall energy cost isn't too high.

The Most Common Appliances in the Home and the Cost of Running Them (Assuming Electricity is 10c per Unit)

(click column header to sort results)
Power in watt  
Cost per hour in cents  
Kitchen range/cooker
2000 to 6000
20 to 60
Depending on number of hotplates and whether oven is switched on
Tumble drier
Washing machine
1000 on average
Depends on ambient temperature
Depends on ambient temperature and capacity of freezer
2000 to 3000
20 to 30
Food processor
500 to 1500
5 to 15
Desktop computer
Cost is less with LCD monitor
Large TV CRT
100 to 150
Large TV Plasma
200 to 300
2 to 3
Large TV LCD
100 to 200
1 to 2
Large TV LED
Alarm system
Transistor radio
Hair drier
Microwave oven
Air conditioning
50 max
Depends on temperature setting on unit
Broadband internet router/modem
100 watt light bulb
Cordless phone
Computer printer
Water tank heater
2000 to 3000
20 to 30
Electric shower
7000 to 10000
70 to 100

What is Vampire Power or Phantom Power?

Many devices draw so called vampire power when on standby. These include sound systems, TVs, HiFis, video and DVD players/recorders, Computers, radios etc. Power drawn on standby can be up to 25% of that when fully turned on. If you want to save money - pull the plug.

What is a Power Consumption Monitor?

A power monitor is a useful device for tracking electricity usage and helping you save energy. The monitor is plugged into a wall socket and then the appliance is plugged into the adapter. The device then displays power consumption in watts and tracks energy use in kWh over time. It can also display voltage, current and length of time the appliance is powered on. This is useful for checking the duty cycle or percentage on time for devices that cycle on and off (e.g. fridges, freezers and air conditioners). You can read more about them in this guide:

Checking Power Consumption of Appliances With an Energy Monitoring Adapter

Power monitoring adapter
Power monitoring adapter | Source

The Kill a Watt energy usage monitor from Amazon is a basic unit that monitors voltage, amps, watts, kWh and time run. It's easy to use and each parameter can be selected by simply pressing a dedicated button. Values are displayed on a clear easy-to-read LCD display. Note that this is designed for AC 115 volt appliances.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • How much wattage or power has my e-bike charger consumed in 9 hours? The input specifications are: Ac 180 to 260 V & 4 Amp. Max. The output specifications are: 54.6V & 6Amp. My e-bike battery is 48v, 24 Ah.

    It depends on your supply voltage and the actual current drawn by the charger, but this will vary during the charging process.

    So let's assume the voltage is 230 volts, and current is maximum, i.e. 4 amps.

    Then max power input is 230 x 4 = 920 W

    Max energy consumption is (230 x 4 /1000) x 9 = 8.28 kWh or units.

    However, if the batteries are lithium ion, charging current varies, and a multi-stage charger will charge at a constant current during the first stage until the voltage reaches a certain level. Then the current decreases as the charger puts out a constant voltage during the second stage of charging. So actual energy use will be less than this, maybe half.

    Energy = Power x time, so for a constant load e.g. a heater you simply multiply the power by time to get a figure for energy consumption. For a device like the charger above where the power varies, the best way to measure actual energy consumption is to use a power/energy adaptor which will give a more accurate figure as it continually measures instantaneous power and does an integration calculation and comes up with a total figure for energy use.

© 2012 Eugene Brennan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • eugbug profile imageAUTHOR

      Eugene Brennan 

      4 months ago from Ireland

      Hi khtanned,

      This is a B&Q brand power adapter, so only available in the UK and Ireland.What style of plug (country) do you need on the meter?

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      I would like to get this power meter. May I know the brand or manufacturer.


    • profile image

      K N S Prasad 

      2 years ago

      Very nice for explaining thanks so much.

    • profile image

      Delores Wiley 

      3 years ago

      thank you very much I could not read a lot of my appliance wattage and this is very helpful


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)