As the UK prepares for a haunting Halloween, new research by British Gas has revealed that Brits could save 23% 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 £474.441, Brits could in fact save an average of £110 per household per year by simply flicking a switch. This equates to a scary £2.2bn across all UK households.

The new research reveals that 43% of respondents are concerned about their winter energy usage. With two in five (40%) saying they are already seeing an increase in their energy bills, it’s no surprise that almost half (45%) admit they are more interested than ever to make energy savings.

Yet, almost most one in five (16%) Brits are unaware that many household appliances use up electricity whilst not in use as over two in five (41%) only occasionally switch these appliances off. Almost one third (31%) said they wish they’d known appliances were costing them money whilst on standby.

Unsurprisingly, almost two thirds (64%) said they will make more effort to switch their appliances off now they know they could save money. Interestingly, almost three in four (72%) of those aged 54-65 said they would switch off appliances to save money on bills, compared to just over one third (39%) of 18-24-year olds who found the idea less appealing.

However, almost one in four (23%) said that they will continue to leave appliances on standby when inactive despite the fact it could save them money. Over two in five (43%) said this was because the effort of switching them off isn’t worth the cost saving and one in four (25%) said they just don’t care.

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

"While colder weather means a rise in bills is inevitable, there are some things we can do to reduce our energy usage at home this winter 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."

Energy expert Marc Robson, British Gas

My top 5 tips to limit the vampire appliances sucking up unnecessary energy:

  1. At night, or when not in use, try switching off devices at the mains rather than switching to standby. Even better, next time you buy a new product, select one that is listed as having low standby power usage.
  2. Add all electronics (computer, gaming console, Sky box, TV) to an extension lead and switch that off at night, this saves you the effort of turning them all off individually!
  3. Turn lights off when you leave a room. Energy efficient lightbulbs will help with even further savings (you could save up to £40 a year)
  4. Use a smart thermostat to help keep your room temperature as low as possible for as long as possible to avoid using the heating when you might not need it (save up to £75 for smart thermostat and £60 by reducing temperature by 1 degree)
  5. Timing is everything; don’t leave chargers plugged into your devices once it’s fully charged, don’t fill the kettle if you’re only making one cup of tea and wait until the dishwasher and washing machine are full before putting them on.


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 20th October to 25th October 2021.