8 Worst Appliances To Leave On Standby

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 16th November 2023
Posted on 15th November 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice
8 Worst Appliances To Leave On Standby

The cost of living crisis has left many wondering how to save a few pounds where possible. 

One of the first things to look at is your appliances, as leaving them on standby mode could be costing you more than you think. 

That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the worst appliances you can leave on standby, so you can switch them off and get further savings on your energy bill

Fingers at the ready, let’s switch off some of the most energy-hungry devices!

Did you know a combi boiler only uses gas as and when you need it? See which are the best combis in terms of efficiency and reliability here.

Get an online fixed price in 20 seconds:

What kind of fuel does your boiler use?

Worst Appliances To Leave On Standby Mode


You need your fridge/freezer running while in use, there are no two ways about it. But did you know it costs about £893.62 a year to run a 300W fridge? 

So, while you can’t simply switch off your handy kitchen appliance, you can do some extra work to keep your energy bills down. 

You should keep your fridge/freezer clean at all times. Wipe down the interior and exterior, focusing on the cooling system at the back. Dust accumulation affects how hard it needs to work. 

Additionally, cleaning the coils keeps your fridge much cooler without having to work as hard. The fridge does make up an average of 12% of your entire household’s energy bills, so every little bit helps. 


The pandemic showed many companies that working from home might not be the worst thing. While many pushed back, productivity increased by 47% according to some studies. 

But what does this mean for your household electricity bill?

Running a 50W laptop for 8 hours a day costs about £5.60 a week, that’s £291 per year. On standby, your laptop only uses 3W so if left running 24/7 for a year will cost around £8.70.

Leaving your laptop plugged in all day can also affect the battery. So, if not in use, it’s best to unplug it. 

Baby monitor

Kids are a parent’s entire world, so it’s natural to want to give all you have. According to the Child Poverty Action Group, the average cost of raising a child until they’re 18 is between £160,000-£193,000. 

This eye-watering figure may have you second-guessing keeping that baby monitor on 24/7. You’ll want to save everything you can. 

Baby monitors are great to keep an ear out for your baby while they sleep, but you don’t need to keep them on when your little one is awake. 

Unplugging your baby monitor when it’s not in use could save your energy bill about £8.94 a year. While it might not sound like much, over 18 years it’s an extra £160. 

Alarm clock

As the old becomes new, traditional alarm clocks are making a serious comeback. After learning that keeping phones on all the time affects us in ways we never thought possible, you may have reached for that old alarm clock at the back of the cupboard once more.

Well, the good news is that you’ll be lowering your screen time. The bad news? Keeping alarm clocks connected to the mains throughout the day could cost you about £5.96 a year.

To avoid this, simply unplug your alarm clock in the morning and plug it back in before bed. Just remember to reset the time or you’ll be running late. 


TV today isn’t what it used to be. We remember the days of walking to the big box and switching it off with a physical button. Then you knew that the TV was off and you could go about your day. 

Today, switching a modern TV off with a remote doesn’t fully turn off the TV but leaves it on standby mode. To switch it off completely you may have to unplug it from the wall. 

A 55-inch LCD TV uses about 80W, actively watching a TV like this will set you back about £0.65 for a 24-hour period. 

Luckily, on standby, the TV only uses about 2W, so £5.96 per year. 

Smart speaker

A smart speaker is a great way to bring music and good times into your home.

Luckily, these devices only use about 3W of power. Surprisingly though, when left plugged in on standby still uses as much as 2W of power. 

Leaving your smart speaker plugged in could cost you an additional £5.96 per year. 

Gaming consoles

Gaming consoles are awesome! You’re in for hours of fun. But be warned, on standby you might be adding around £3 a year to your energy bill.

That’s just on standby, one hour of active gaming uses about 120kw. Based on UK electricity prices as of 2023 one hour of gaming costs £0.04. So, if you play games for an average of one hour a day every day of the year, you’re looking at about £14.60 per year. 

Plugged in chargers

Most of us plug our phones in at night and rush out in the mornings leaving the charger plugged in. So, what does this mean for your power bill? 

Charging an iPhone with the original charger uses about 5W of power, if you left it plugged in 24/7, it would set you back £14.89 per year. 

On standby that same charger would use about 0.25W, meaning you’ll pay about £0.77 per charger per year. 

One thing to note is that this is for original chargers. Using cheap knockoffs can increase the wattage by 10%-20%. 

So, while it’s only a small cost, it’s still best to unplug your chargers. 


Why is it bad to leave appliances on standby?

There are two main reasons. Firstly, leaving appliances on standby may affect how they run in the future. Secondly, appliances still use power when they’re on standby which could increase your electricity bill and carbon emissions.

Can leaving appliances on standby cause a fire?

Not necessarily. Leaving your appliance on standby is no more likely to cause a fire than the appliance being on. However, keeping appliances on standby for long periods means that they have power for much longer than they should. This could affect how they function. Overused wires can be a fire hazard.

Is there a way to reduce standby energy consumption?

Not really, to lower running costs your best bet is to turn appliances off at the wall. Alternatively, you could invest in a power strip that cuts power to appliances when they’re not in use.

Wrap Up

We never would have guessed that these appliances used so much power when not in use. It explains why some of our electric bills are so high. 

Of course, it’s not pleasant that electricity prices have nearly doubled in UK households between 2022 and 2023. So, we hope that this article helps you find ways to stop unnecessarily wasting money by leaving devices plugged in.

Looking for a new boiler to save on your gas bills? Check out new boilers from Boiler Central now.

Written by
James Elston
James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
Posted on: 15th November 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice

James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

Buy a new boiler in minutes

Instant online quotes. Nationwide next-day fitting

Get my fixed price
Get a great price on a Which? Best Buy boiler online in 20 seconds
  • Over 15,000 boiler installed
  • Rated Excellent on Trustpilot
  • Fair, fixed and final prices
  • No pushy salespeople
  • Next-day installation
  • 0% deposit interest-free finance
Next-day fitting available until 2pmGet a quote now >