I’m an energy expert – seven small changes to the way you use your kettle could save you £20 | The Sun
HOW you make your morning brew could be hiking your energy bills unnecessarily.
For many of us there’s nothing better than a good cuppa, but unless you’re careful about the way you use your kettle, you could be throwing money down the drain.
Whether you're making a hot drink or boiling water to cook with, the key is to give some thought to how much you’re adding to your electricity costs each time you flick the kettle on.
Natalie Mathie, energy expert at price comparison site at Uswitch, says making just a few tweaks to the way you use this kitchen appliance could translate into some decent savings on your bills.
She told The Sun: “An estimated 100 million cups of tea are made everyday in the UK, with a single cup costing around 5p to make in an electric kettle. “
On average, people drink two cups of tea a day, adding up to an annual energy spend of just under £40.
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Natalie added: “Although the savings you make with these changes may only represent a few pence, if you integrate some of these into your daily routine, this will all add up over the course of a year.
"With the cost-of-living crisis still hitting consumers hard, any steps that save energy at home are worth the effort.”
1. Don’t over fill the kettle
When making a hot drink, it’s important to only fill your kettle with as much water as you need, according to Natalie.
“The more water, the longer it will take to boil and the more energy it will use,” she said.
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“Boiling a 3kW (kilowatt) kettle for a total of 10 minutes over the course of a week would cost almost 17p. Over a year, this mounts up to almost £9.”
As a guide, a 3kW kettle runs for around 45 seconds to make a cup of tea.
But if you’re overfilling it, it could take up to 20 per cent longer to boil.
This could add an extra 3p a week onto bills, taking the annual cost to £10.30.
Natalie added: “By only boiling the water you need, as opposed to overfilling your kettle, you could save around £11 a year on your energy bills.”
Some kettles come with a feature which shows how much water is needed for one, two or three cups.
Alternatively, take the mug you’re using and fill it with water before pouring it into the kettle so you know you’re only paying to boil what you actually use.
That said, remember to always check you have exceeded the minimum capacity your kettle can boil.
One way to avoid boiling too much water each time you flick the switch is by swapping your kettle for a more compact model.
Natalie said: “If you’re regularly overfilling your appliance, consider getting a smaller one to save you from temptation.”
On Amazon, the Russell Hobbs compact travel kettle with a 0.85-litre capacity, is currently reduced to less than £20.
With a low wattage, travel kettles can be cheap to run.
3. Invest in a thermal-insulated kettle or flasks
Refilling and boiling the kettle every hour or so uses a huge amount of energy. If you want to reduce the number of times you do this each day, you could look into buying an eco-model.
“Some versions have a vacuum flask to keep water hot for a long period,” said Natalie. “This means you could enjoy multiple warm drinks with just one flick of the switch.”
The Vektra, for example, is a thermally-insulated electric kettle which claims that with just one boil, water will remain hot for up to four hours.
But such models do not come cheap, with a price tag of just over £100.
If you’re looking for a less costly alternative, you could boil the kettle once, and then put some of the hot water into flasks to use later.
These containers will retain the heat and mean you won’t be boiling the kettle quite so frequently.
At Robert Dyas, you can get your hands on a one-litre Thermos Original flask for £14.99.
4. Don’t go into autopilot
Another simple tip is to get out of the habit of repeatedly reboiling your kettle without giving it a second thought.
Once you’ve boiled it, remind yourself (and other kettle users) that the water should remain hot enough for a good while, and that there’s no need to press the switch again two minutes later.
5. Keep your kettle clean
If you live in a hard water area, Natalie warns that over time, your kettle can get clogged up.
“You will find limescale accumulates around the elements,” she said.
“Take the time to regularly descale your kettle. Doing so will help prolong the life of the device.”
While you can get dedicated descaling products, there’s a simple way to save.
Natalie said: “White wine vinegar is a more cost-effective option.”
On Amazon, you can pick up a 5-litre bottle of white vinegar for around £6.
6. Use a pan instead
Natalie suggests a further easy way to make savings, provided you have a gas stove, is by ditching your kettle altogether and boiling water in a pan on a gas hob instead.
“Thanks to gas being cheaper than electricity, this is a lower-cost way to make a cup of tea,” she said.
“Be sure to cover pans when cooking on the stove. If not, they will lose heat and waste energy.”
Making 100 cups of tea this way would save you 34p compared to making the same number of brews using a kettle, according to the energy whizz.
Note, though, that boiling water on an electric hob is more expensive than using a kettle.
Natalie added: “Steer clear of this to avoid racking up bigger bills than you need to.”
According to Uswitch, boiling water on an electric hob costs 6p, compared to around 5p making a brew in a kettle.
So, someone making their cuppa on the electric stove may end up spending an extra £7 a year.
7. Switch off
Last but not least, when you’re not using your kettle remember to unplug it.
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