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British Gas

Vampire devices drain £1.6bn from UK households

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As millions continue to spend more time than ever before at home, new research by British Gas has revealed that Brits could save 16% on their electricity bills each year by switching off their vampire electronics, those that continue to drain power when left on standby.

With the average annual electricity bill currently at £474.44*, Brits could in fact save an average of £75 per household per year, which totals to over £1.6bn across all UK households, by simply flicking a switch.

Following the government announcement just last week that stricter rules are set to ensure manufacturers make appliances such as TVs and washing machines more energy efficient, the new research shows that simply switching appliances off when not in use could also be a short-term fix to reduce the electricity they use over their lifetimes.

The research has revealed that almost one in five (15%) are unaware that many household appliances actually use up electricity whilst not in use as over two in five (42%) admit to only occasionally switching these appliances off. Almost one in three (29%) said they wish they’d known appliances were costing them money whilst on standby.

Unsurprisingly, almost seven in 10 (68%) said they would switch off these appliances now they know they could save the pennies. Interestingly, over three in four (77%) of those aged 65 and over said they would switch off appliances to save money on bills, compared to just over half (54%) of 18-24-year olds who found the idea less appealing.

However, almost one in five (17%) said that they will continue to leave appliances on standby when inactive despite the fact it could save them money. Two in five (42%) said this was because the effort of switching them off isn’t worth the cost saving and one in five (21%) said they wouldn’t because they just don’t care.

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Almost nine in 10 (88%) people use their microwave for less than 2 hours a day and yet more than six in 10 (61%) said they never switch it off. Only one quarter (24%) said they switch off their games console when not in use and again, just one quarter (25%) switch off the coffee machine when it’s not brewing, meaning three in four have it plugged in sapping energy 24/7.

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Marc Robson, Smart Energy Expert at British Gas 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. Turn it down or turn it off is a great motto for fighting the vampires.”

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* based on British Gas annual electricity bill 2,900 kWh usage

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