Some household appliances use up more energy than others. Ever wondered how a change in your habits at home could make a change to the bottom line in your energy usage? In this post, I look at the cost of running three common household items – boiling water in electric kettles, using a hair dryer and using the clothes dryer.
Firstly, thanks go to the new man in my life for doing these calculations. He actually volunteered – said he had always wondered at the cost of boiling a full kettle versus only the minimum. And then it went from there. I had always wondered the same thing, too. So, here it goes:
- Electric kettles: It costs 3 cents to boil a full jug and 1 cent to boil minimum filled jug, based on 19.5 cents per kilowatt hour. If you boiled a full jug four times a day for a year it would cost $44. To boil a minimum filled jug four times a day for a year costs $14.60 – so you could save almost $30 a year just from boiling less water. [Tip: if you boil more water than you need, tip it into a thermos to reuse for your next cup of tea or coffee.]
- Hair dryers: I have fine hair, and it gets brittle when blown with a dryer. So I admit to using one very infrequently, usually only when I want it to look good for going out or when it is winter and I want to avoid catching a cold. But I am guessing that in most households it is considered a necessity. A hair dryer costs 6 cents to run for 10 minutes, and 3 cents for 5 minutes. Assuming you use it every day it would cost $22 a year to run for 10 minutes (multiply that if you have more than one woman in a household).
- Clothes dryers: I have a dryer in my apartment, which came with the unit. I haven’t used it all winter and I don’t intend to. Clothes dry quick enough even in winter. In my old house, I used to place the rack over a ducted heating vent and allowed the warm air to flow up onto the clothes. An average 90 minute clothes dryer cycle costs 60c to run. Assuming you used it twice a week in the three months of winter that would add up to $14.40.
Based on the assumption that I was using these appliances regularly and changed habits, this would save me at least $66.40. How much money could you save?
These calculations are based on the current residential rates offered by ActewAGL for Canberra customers. Canberra has some of the lowest rates of electricity in Australia. For New South Wales, you will need to DOUBLE these figures. For other states or territories, or other areas, you will need to refer to the pricing of your utility.
Your challenge is to reduce the amount that use your electric kettle, hair dryer or clothes dryer in your home. Come and join the journey, and share your story on the Frugal Dare to Millionaire Facebook group.