Phantom Energy Costs From October

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Things are looking very bleak in the UK for the next couple of years. By far, the biggest issue we all face is the massive increase in the cost of electricity and gas.

In the past few months, I have done some posts on the current running costs of portable air conditioners, washing machines and fridges.

In those posts, my conclusion was that they are not actually that bad. Air conditioning has the worst reputation, but with record-breaking temperatures this year, I didn’t feel that 33.60p per hour running cost was all that bad.

Unfortunately, those posts were all based on the current variable tariff rate. I used 28.02 p/kWh, which is quoted from British Gas and Bulb. This is 105% higher than in 2021.

October Energy Price Cap

In October, there will be another price increase, and it will be 80% this time which would take the cost of running an air con from 33.60 pence to 60.48 pence per hour.

You probably won’t need your air conditioning in October, but this price hike will be crippling for many people.

The price cap is confusing and vague, with it being stated as the average annual cost for dual fuel customers. It is annoying, but the argument is that it is up to the supplier to set the rates how they want, it can be split between the standing charge and cost per kWh.

Ofgem has published some example prices, which make it a little easier to understand.

 Last price cap period(1 April – 30 September 2022)Current price cap period(1 October – 31 December 2022)
Electricity£0.28 per kWhDaily standing charge: £0.45£0.52 per kWhDaily standing charge: £0.46
Gas£0.07 per kWhDaily standing charge: £0.27£0.15 per kWhDaily standing charge: £0.28

Phantom Energy

Most of us have all read about phantom energy costs in newspapers. If you are not aware, it is the items that draw electricity across the home 24/7. These devices are not essential like fridge freezers and often don’t draw much energy individually, but lots of devices using electricity 24/7 over the year can add up to a lot of money.

I personally went around my house trying to work out what was worth turning off or not, and I struggled to find anything that I felt was drawing enough electricity for me to justify turning off.

But again, this was earlier in the year, prior to another price hike.

Inspired by a Reddit post, and a lot of my data is taken from that post, I decided to retest various devices that we typically leave on 24/7.  

I will expand the list as I test more devices. I have added a couple of appliances on the list, such as a fridge freezer. These are not really phantom energy costs but it is worth being aware of the price.

There are a few things worth noting. In general, it is recommended not to switch your router off frequently, it can introduce network problems. Similarly, a lot of OLED TVs will refresh the pixels during standby and considering how little they use electricity when in standby, it is not worth switching them off.

Consumption (W)Annual cost in £80% increase in October in £
Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)1.94.928.856
Amazon FireTV stick (2nd gen)
Ambi Pur plug-in air freshener2.15.449.792
Apple laptop charger (knockoff)0.30.781.404
Apple phone charger<0.100
Bedside alarm clock/radio0.82.073.726
Beko under counter fridge2356.58101.844
Brother colour laser printer1.64.157.47
Dell laptop charger (recent model)<0.100
Desktop PC1.23.115.598
Dishwasher left on but not running0.92.334.194
LG GSL760PZXV American Style Fridge Freezer70171.55308.79
LG home theatre c.20100.10.260.468
Microwave oven, Matsui brand (~25 yrs old)6.115.8128.458
Motorola phone charger (2020)<0.100
Netgear 5 port gigabit switch1.43.636.534
Qnix 27” monitor0.51.32.34
Sky Q broadband router7.218.6633.588
Sky Q Mini box9.123.5842.444
Sky Q STB – recording while in standby13.835.7664.368
Sky Q STB – standby1128.551.3
TV – LG 39” (2014 model)<0.100
TV – LG C1 (2021 model)0.20.520.936
Virgin Hub 3 router1231.0955.962
Washing machine – on but not running1.12.855.13
Whirlpool washing machine (c.2005) – off0.10.260.468
Zanussi dishwasher, c.30 years old0.10.260.468

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One Comment

  1. The big surprise for me was the microwave entry at £28+; does your do anything else than display a clock while in stand-by?

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