Jennifer Plews


New research by British Gas reveals that Brits could save an average of £147 per household on their electricity bills each year by switching off their vampire electronics, those that continue to drain power when left on standby.

The new research reveals that almost one in three (28%) are already stressed about paying their energy bills this year. With half (50%) saying they are already seeing an increase in their energy bills, it’s no surprise that almost half (46%) 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 under half (44%) only occasionally switch these appliances off. Over one in three (35%) said they wish they’d known devices were costing them money whilst on standby.

Unsurprisingly, almost two thirds (63%) said they will make more effort to switch their appliances off now they know they could save money. Interestingly, three in four (75%) of those aged 55-64 said they would switch off appliances to save money on bills, compared to just over one third (35%) of 18-24-year olds who found the idea less appealing.

However, over one in five (21%) said that they will continue to leave appliances on standby when inactive despite the fact it could save them money. Half (50%) said this was because the effort of switching them off isn’t worth the cost saving and one in five (20%) said they just don’t care.

The top vampire devices and what they’re costing UK households:


% of people who said they leave appliance on standby

Average hours left on standby in a 24-hour period

Total Cost per year on standby

Set top box/ satellite




Modem/ internet router












Games Console








Smart speakers/ smart home devices












Tumble dryer




Washing machine








Mobile device charger









“With household costs on the rise, there are some actions we can take 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."

Energy expert, Marc Robson, at British Gas

My top 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 as even the standby light on a television uses energy. 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! There are also smart plugs you can buy which will let you check everything is turned off from your phone.
  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 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.
  6. Try not to over-charge your mobile phone and laptop unnecessarily. As soon as your device is charged, try and get into the habit of unplugging it. Not only will this save energy but it also prolongs battery life. Also consider other items that can be overcharged such as electric toothbrushes and cordless vacuum cleaners.
  7. A smart meter’s in home display can help to identify how much energy is used at different times of the day so you can see where energy is wasted