Household appliances that use the most energy

May 17, 2021

Household Electronic Appliances That Take Up The Most Energy

The age-old debate of what electronic appliances are using the most energy exists in almost every Irish home. From the panic of leaving the immersion on, to choosing the tumble dryer, when you could have as easily hung the clothes out on the line in the back garden.

If you too, are trying to cut back on your energy costs, our team at PrepayPower have pulled together a comprehensive list outlining the five appliances that use the most energy at home, and may be the reason behind your larger than expected bill. Cutting back your use of the below appliances will result in lower household costs and ensure you are engaging in more environmentally friendly energy consumption.

5 Electronic Appliances That Take Up The Most Energy:

  • Washing Machine
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Electric Shower
  • Kettle
  • Fridge

Washing Machine

Taking first place for home energy consumption is the trusty washing machine. While we are not recommending that you journey down to the nearest river to wash your clothes, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure you are keeping energy usage to a low. The majority of the energy used by your washing machine comes from heating up the water. Therefore, the hotter the water, the more energy used. Unless they are very dirty, clothes can be washed at the low temperature of 30°. In actual fact, it is regularly better to wash your clothes at a lower temperature. While towels and bed clothes need to be washed at higher temperatures, this does not stand true for clothes. If you have a day/night meter installed, our experts recommend putting on your washing machine after 11pm, when you are paying cheaper rates. Additionally, if your washing machine has an energy efficient eco cycle that can be used, this will lower your usage even further.


Top Tip: Always try to put on a full wash. The same amount of energy is used when washing a single jumper, as it does for a full load.


Tumble Dryer

As always, going hand-in-hand with the washing machine, the second largest energy consumer in the home is the tumble dryer. On average, using it to dry a load of clothes costs between 50 cents and 1 euro, costing the same as a few days of 10-minute electric showers. The obvious recommendation is to do what we did before tumble dryers existed, and hang your clothes outside on a line or clothes horse. Though in Ireland, this is often tainted by the high chance of rain, and many living in homes such as apartments, may not have the space to do this. To reduce high energy consumption, regularly clean out the filters, only dry on a full load and be sure to untangle your items before turning it on, ensuring free movement and no restriction. Similar to the washing machine, try putting on your load after 11pm if you have a day/night meter and choose the energy efficient eco cycle if there is one.


Top Tip: Keep your tumble dryer in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating.


Electric Shower

Number three on our list is the beloved electric shower. While there are many benefits to choosing an electric shower due to it working off your main cold water supply as opposed to the central hot water system, they use a large amount of energy. Cutting the time you spend in the shower is the key to reducing energy consumption here. By shortening your shower time from 15 minutes to 5 minutes every day, you could save up to €90 per year on your energy bill. Turning your hot water down will also have an effect. Don’t worry, we aren’t recommending ice cold showers for the foreseeable future. Though lowering the temperature by just 5°C will make a noticeable difference to your home energy usage.


Top Tip: Put a bucket in the shower while you’re waiting for the water to heat up. It can be used for tending to plants or cleaning your home



Living in Ireland, the kettle is often the favourite and most used electronic appliance in the home. This would boil (excuse the pun) largely down to our high tea consumption. According to Ireland’s top tea brand Lyons, the average Irish person drinks approx. 300 litres of tea per year! As the nation drinks an average of five cups per day, that equates to boiling the kettle an average of five times. This can result in large energy consumption. In order to keep this to a minimum, avoid filling the kettle to the top if you are only making one cup of tea. The more water you fill it with, the more it is costing you to boil.


Top Tip: If you plan to have more than one cup of tea within a short space of time, make a pot of tea to avoid re-boiling the kettle.



Last but not least, the fridge is guilty of taking up a large amount of energy to run in the home. While you may think this is because it is constantly plugged into an energy source, if a fridge remained plugged in for a week and no one opened the door, it would in fact not use a whole lot of energy. Keeping the fridge door closed where possible is advised. For every 10-20 seconds the door is kept open, it can take up to 45 minutes for the fridge to return to its set temperature. Investing in a fridge thermometer enables you to identify whether it is at a suitable temperature. 5° is the ideal temperature for your fridge. If it is any lower, you are wasting money. Try to keep some space in your fridge and avoid overpacking it. Items such as tomatoes and eggs do not need to be stored in the fridge. Keeping them out of the fridge can free up space for items that do.


Top Tip: Do not put hot food into the fridge or freezer. It will have to work harder to get the temperature back down.


At PrepayPower, we offer prepaid electricity, prepaid gas and dual fuel, ensuring you are aware and in control of your energy usage and costs at all times. Prepaying for energy ensures you keep track of your consumption, identifying where energy reduction may be needed before being hit with a large bill. Call us today on 1800 989 517 to learn more.