electricity usage meter

Man Measures Every Appliance In The House And Is Astonished At Electricity Charge For Two Standby Items

With inflation in full swing, its not surprising to see people trying to pinch their pennies. Recently a UK man decided to test all of his household appliances to see how much his electricity they use on standby. The hope was to reduce his electricity bill. To to do this he bought a electricity power consumption meter to see exactly how much juice his appliances were using. His findings were shocking. Pun intended.

Posting on Reddit, the man shared his findings by stating, “Contrary to belief, leaving a phone charger plugged in will not end up killing penguins in Antarctica. Most modern switch-mode power supplies draw a negligible amount of power when not doing anything. Not listed here are the other power supply adapters I tested which gave mostly similar results apart from the knockoff Apple charger. The only adapters that do tend to draw a few watts are ones that contain a transformer, you can usually tell thee as they are significantly heavier than others.”

Man Conducts Home Experiments To See His Electricity Bill Expenditure

While keeping a phone charger plugged in may not end up costing you much, he also mentioned that it would be prudent to check one’s older appliances. For him, the microwave was definitely an eye-opener. He was paying close to £16 ($19) every year just to have the microwave be at “00:00” all the time. After finding out about this, he switched it off when not in use. He also speaks about how expensive SkyTV is. Sky TV is a British broadcaster and telecommunications company. But interestingly, the expenses increase due to the high power consumption of the set-top boxes that the company sends. He always had a sneaking suspicion that the Q mini box was pretty bad. After all, it used to heat up even when it was just on standby. And yet, he never expected it to go over 9 watts when it was sitting idle and doing nothing. 

This image is for aesthetic purposes only.
Image Credits: Stock

He was also thinking about using a timer to automatically switch on and off his ethernet and broadband router. A timer would be around £7 ($8), and it should ideally pay for itself in just a month. That is if the routers were switched off for just 8 hours a day. The home experiments done by the man come immediately after the United Kingdom was warned about energy prices. There were notices that the price on their electricity bill would get even higher than what was predicted previously. Cornwall Insight has also brought in their prediction that there could be an increase of 650 pounds for the average household in England, Wales, and Scotland. With the increase in the cost of living, the company researching energy wrote, “We have released new price cap figures following a wholesale price surge and Ofgem revising their cap methodology.

They have also predicted that an average household will be paying a sum of 3,582 pounds per year from October. The increase would be coming in January, at around 4,266 pounds, for three months leading to March 2023. And if one didn’t switch their appliances off when not in use, the electricity bill could definitely go higher.

These may have been some of the ‘less obvious’ appliances that draw a lot of power, but there are others that do as well. According to SparkEnergy the top 10 most energy-consuming appliances are:

  1. Central Air Conditioner (2 ton): 1450 kWh/month
  2. Water Heater (4-person household): 310/kWh/month
  3. Refrigerator (17-20 cubic foot): 205 kWh/month
  4. Dryer: 75 kWh/month
  5. Oven Range: 58 kWh/month
  6. Lighting 4-5 room household: 50 kWh/month
  7. Dishwasher: 30 kWh/month
  8. Television: 27 kWh/month
  9. Microwave: 16 kWh/month

Some energy-saving tips according to SparkEnergy include:

  • Cover drafty windows
  • Adjust the temperature
  • Find and seal leaks
  • Schedule regular service for your heating system
  • Lower water heating costs by using less hot water
  • Keep air moving with ceiling fans
  • Unplug appliances, or use a power strip and the strip’s on/off switch to cut all power to the appliance when it’s turned off

Keep Reading: The Pros and Cons of Sleeping With a Fan


  1. Man measures every appliance in house and is astonished at electricity charge for two standby items.LAD Bible. Claire Reid. August 15, 2022.
  2. “Energy cost of devices on standby in my home” Reddit. August 10, 2022.
  3. “Top Ten Most Electricity-Drawing Appliances and How to Save” SparkEnergy. January 2017.

These stories are based on posts found on Reddit. Reddit is a user-generated social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website where registered members submit content to the site and can up- or down-vote the content. The accuracy and authenticity of each story cannot be confirmed by our staff.