How much does it cost to boil a kettle? Two ways to slash costs

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As the cost of living surges in the UK, households up and down the country are feeling the financial pinch. Fuel prices are soaring to record levels, inflation has risen to its highest point in 30 years, and to top it off, energy bills have increased by 54 percent.

Brits are scrambling to cut costs and in light of April’s energy bill surge, electricity usage is likely to be being monitored more than ever before.

Typically, you’d turn to switching off the heating or limit light use, but have you ever wondered how much it costs to run the more standard household appliances – and more specifically – a kettle?

The kettle provides endless joy to millions of Brits every day. As the facilitator of classic cups of tea, this appliance tends to be heavily used throughout the day in most homes.

However, it’s easy to forget that each time you boil the kettle, you are paying for it. And with Brits drinking approximately 100 million cups of tea per day, you can only imagine the bill this could be racking up. So, how much are you paying?

How much does it cost to boil a kettle?

The cost of running household appliances varies, and it’s usually based on what sort of energy these appliances provide.

For example, appliances that produce heat or have moving parts typically use much more energy than those that produce light or sound.

So if you’re looking to save some pennies, you’ll want to be focusing on the appliances that warm up or move – like kettles and microwaves.

Electricity is sold by the kilowatt-hour (kWh), but this is usually referred to as ‘units’ on your electricity bill.

All electrical appliances have a power rating on the label, usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW), which will tell you how much electricity it needs to work.

The amount of electricity it uses depends on how long you use it, and this is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

So, based on the average electricity unit rate of 28p per kWh, an average 3kW (3000W) kettle, would cost around 14p to boil – based on a timespan of 10 minutes.

If you’re using the kettle to boil water for an average-sized cup, it tends to take around one minute to boil, which will bring the cost to a grand total of just over 1p per cup.

However, you might assume a higher-wattage appliance would cost more than a lower-wattage one, but that isn’t always the case.

CSE said: “This is because [higher-wattage appliances] are well designed and do the job quicker. An energy efficient dish washer, for example, may have a power rating of 2kW – the same (or higher) as a non-energy efficient one.

“But what makes it energy efficient is that it completes its cycle quicker. So while it may use the same (or more) electricity per hour, it’s working for less time so uses less energy overall.”

So don’t worry too much if you have a kettle with a higher-wattage, as it might actually mean it’ll be using less energy when powered up.

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However, the exact amount you be paying depends on your kettle’s water capacity, power rating, how long it boils and how much a unit of electricity costs in your area, so the price may be more or less than what’s noted above.

There are ways to cut costs when using the kettle, so, to be as energy-efficient as possible, here are two easy tips.

Don’t overfill the kettle

Only boil the amount of water you need for the number of drinks you are making. Usually, a kettle will have measurements on how much to fill per cup on the side.

Even if you find yourself drinking a lot of hot drinks during the day, it’s still more energy efficient to boil what you need each time than to fill the kettle to the top and boil too much water.

More energy is used the higher the kettle is filled as it takes longer to boil.

This little tip can save you up to £6 a year.

Descale the kettle

Limescale in kettles is caused by hard water – which up to 60 percent of the UK live with.

Hard water forms when calcium or magnesium dissolves inside it, and when the kettle boils this water, insoluble calcium carbonate forms and spreads across the appliance.

However, believe it or not, if your kettle is riddled with limescale, it can actually use more energy to boil.

This is because the limescale blocks the heat elements, making it work harder to boil the water.

Descaling is easy, and it can be done by boiling a kettle of white vinegar with water.

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