Here’s a trick question for a quiz: which uses the most electricity every year? An electric oven, hob, microwave or kettle? The answer? The humble kettle, which eats up about 6% of all the electricity supplied to British homes. An oven may use more power when it is on, but constantly filling a kettle – usually boiling far more water than we need – uses enough power annually that equals half the output of one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, the London Array, off the Kent coast. Just by filling the kettle correctly the typical UK household would shave £19 off their annual £600 bill. Almost every other sizeable way of cutting bills requires some sort of expense at the outset, says Baxter, such as buying new bulbs or paying for better insulation. But the use of kettles is the best way household bills can be reduced for free. Government data shows we used 105.4 terawatt hours in 2017 (in our homes) with 16% of that going on kitchen appliances. What’s remarkable is how much is used by kettles. Analysis by Cardiff University of 2012 consumption patterns – which may have changed marginally since then – found 34% of the electrical energy used for cooking went on kettles, 24% on kitchen hobs, 23 % on ovens and 19% on microwaves. That cuppa is perhaps costing rather more than we thought. Consumption for our kettles is 6 terawatt hours a year – “or about 6% of our electricity bill is from boiling kettles”.
Guardian 9th Feb 2019 read more »