Brits wasting extra one-fifth on electricity bills thanks to not turning off money-sapping 'vampire devices'

·4-min read
Mobile phone chargers, TVs, washing machines and microwaves are among the main appliances burning a hole in Brits' pockets
Mobile phone chargers, TVs, washing machines and microwaves are among the main appliances burning a hole in Brits' pockets

Wasteful Brits could save almost one-fifth on their electricity bills if they remembered to turn off their money-sapping ‘vampire’ devices.

But almost half of Britain’s younger generation admit they’re not bothered about the potential £75 household saving that can be made by simply flicking a switch.

Devices such as TVs, microwaves and washing machines are notorious for draining power and new research from British Gas reveals the staggering financial impact of forgetting to turn them off.

Brits could save a whopping 16 per cent on their electricity bills if they remembered to switch off these ‘vampire electronics’, with the full saving across the country totalling a massive £1.6billion.

The startling new research also shows that 15 per cent of Brits didn’t actually realise these devices use up energy while not in use, while over two in five people admit to only occasionally remembering to turn them off.

Leaving washing machines turned on costs British households over £40m each year
Leaving washing machines turned on costs British households over £40m each year

And almost one in three say they wish they’d done their homework and known that appliances were costing them money on standby.

Almost three-quarters reckon they’ll start to turn the devices off now they know about their impact and Marc Robson, an energy guru at British Gas, is urging Brits to make a change.

He said: “While colder weather and more time at home during this third national lockdown means a rise in bills is inevitable, there are some things we can do to reduce our energy usage at home which will really help the bank balance and the environment.

“Almost a third of total heating costs in the home are wasted through the roof and the walls and with vampire appliances, this figure is almost half of our electricity bills on wasted energy.

“Just switching some of these off can really help save straight away and those with a smart meter will be able to see the impact of this in real time.”

British Gas' survey shows a staggering generational divide in attitudes towards electricity spending
British Gas' survey shows a staggering generational divide in attitudes towards electricity spending

The average annual electricity bill in the UK is currently £474.44i – but simply remembering to turn off your computers, games consoles and internet routers when not in use would save crucial pennies.

And British Gas’ research also showed the seismic generational difference in attitudes towards spending, with over three in four of those aged over 65 saying they would switch off appliances to save money on bills.

But younger energy-sappers have a more carefree mentality towards their bills, with 46 per cent of 18-24 year-olds insisting they wouldn’t bother turning off devices to save cash.

Almost one in five 18-24-year-olds admit they will continue to leave appliances on despite knowing it is burning a hole in their pocket.

Over two in five say this is because the money saving is not worth the effort, with over one in five admitting it is because they simply don’t care.

Chargers and computers are among the devices adding millions to Brits' bills
Chargers and computers are among the devices adding millions to Brits' bills

Satellite boxes, routers, TVs, microwaves and games consoles are among the main items racking up Brits’ extra electricity bills.

And computers, showers, dishwashers, printers and phone chargers are also costing the country millions of pounds each year.

Almost nine in ten Brits surveyed use their microwave for less than two hours a day – but a staggering 61 per cent say they never actually bother to turn it off.

Only one quarter of Brits turn off their games consoles when not in use, while exactly three-quarters let their coffee machines continue to sap energy when they’re not even making a brew.

Robson issued a rallying cry to Brits telling them to ‘fight the vampires’, adding: “Turn it down or turn it off is a great motto for fighting the vampires.”

Unless otherwise stated, figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll on behalf of British Gas. This was an online poll of 2,000 UK adults (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 4th February and 8th February 2021.