With energy prices going through the roof, the question “how much does it cost to boil a kettle” is becoming more common in UK households. These days, if you want to minimise your energy costs, you need to become as energy efficient as possible. This means learning the running costs of the appliances you use most often in your home.
Electric kettles have a history of being dubbed “energy thieves” because of the excessive amounts of energy they use. This has even prompted some people to try reducing their electricity bills by reverting to a stovetop kettle.
Electric kettles may not be as detrimental to your energy bills as you would believe in reality. So how much power do kettles use, and how is it going to affect your electricity and gas bills?
Is It Expensive to Boil a Kettle?
Every product in your home that requires electricity to function will have an impact on your electricity bill. When energy costs seem to be sky-high, you might look at new ways to boil water, like using pans on a gas hob, to reduce your overall costs.
However, most people don’t actually know how much energy their appliances really use. The first step to understanding how much your electric kettle costs to boil water is to understand how electricity bills are calculated. You’re generally charged based on the amount of “kWh” you use or kilowatts per hour. This is the unit of electricity used by the electrical company. The price is worked out for each kWh (unit of electricity) you use and differs according to the energy tariff you have.
Imagine, for instance, your standard kettle has around 3KW of power. Making a single cup of tea will only cost around a penny to boil because the energy used to boil a cup of tea is around 0.0408 kWh. So working out exactly how much your hot beverages cost when you’re boiling an electric kettle means calculating power x cost of one kWh x the length of time (monthly or yearly bills).
So, how much does it cost to boil a kettle? Typically, you’ll end up with a cost of around 0.7p per cup of tea or coffee, based on USwitch calculations. Unfortunately, calculating the actual price of a cup of tea can be a little more confusing. A kettle may take longer to boil and cost more in electricity depending on how much water you’re boiling.
How Much Power Does a Kettle Use?
Here’s where things get a little complicated. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how much electricity a kettle will use. Typically, the average kettle uses around 2 and 3 kilowatts of energy, but there are a lot of factors to consider. For instance, if you only want to heat water for one cup of tea, you won’t use the same amount of energy as you would if you’re boiling a full kettle.
A full average kettle holds enough water for several cups of tea, and larger kettles hold more water. To heat water efficiently, you’d be better off only using enough water for your drink every time. This reduces the amount of heat necessary to bring water in your appliance to a boil.
On average, Britain spends about £1 billion each year just boiling an electric kettle for tea and coffee. However, this doesn’t mean the appliance is one of the least effective when it comes to heating water. Ultimately, the problem comes down to how we use our kettles in the UK. Kettle power consumption is more than it needs to be because most people over-fill their kettles. The electricity consumed outweighs the energy required for most electric kettles.
The way we use our kettle to make cups of tea is why the electric kettle generally accounts for about 6% of total household expenditures. However, the reality is that a single cup of tea every day for a year should only add less than £3 to your total bill.
Can You Save Money When Boiling an Electric Kettle?
If you want to save money in your house on heating your kettle, there are ways to make your bills cheaper. The top tips provided by market leaders involve ensuring you choose the right kettle. UK customers have access to a huge range of products today, which can make boiling water cheaper. There are even kettles that deliberately only boil a single cup of water at a time.
Another of the best tips you can follow is to minimise the exact unit of energy you need when boiling your kettles. The cost to run your kettle is higher because most people fill their kettle more than they need to. Even if you’re drinking multiple cups of tea per hour, it’s usually cheaper to only fill the appliance with enough water for one cup.
The costs to access power or energy to boil one cup of water with an electric kettle are much less than the cost to boil your kettle when the full unit is filled. You can also make your kettle slightly cheaper by adjusting the water temperature to slightly lower than the boiling point. This means you don’t use the most electricity when you boil your water. It also ensures you can drink your water more quickly.
The typical UK household can also save extra cash by turning their household appliances off when they’re done using them. The costs of your kettle don’t just apply to running costs.
Is It Cheaper to Boil Water in a Kettle or Microwave?
One thing you probably shouldn’t do if you’re worried about your energy bills and your energy consumption is switch to the microwave or stove. When energy-efficient, electric kettles aren’t as expensive as your might think. An excellent electric kettle is usually about 80% efficient, compared to a microwave’s energy consumption, which is only 50% efficient.
If you want to lower your electricity bill, choosing electric kettles where you can control the temperature without using more electricity is usually the best option. Switching your electric kettle to a stovetop kettle will only increase your costs because gas appliances aren’t nearly as efficient. A pan in your oven will use a lot more than the unit per hour of energy your average kettle would use to heat one cup of tea.
An electric kettle isn’t the most efficient product you can have in your home. There are other products out there, like one-cup boiling taps, which may be more efficient. But compared to boiling water in a pan in your oven or in a microwave, boiling a kettle is usually the best option.