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Warning over 'phantom' appliances adding £1,253 a year to energy bills – see the full list of items | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS are being warned about the dangers of "phantom load" energy drains that could add over £1,000 a year to your bill.

A phantom load is created after leaving appliances such as computers, underfloor heating and extra drinks fridges switched on.

Experts at energy-saving app Loop say a phantom load of 275 watts costs £683 under the current price cap, but this will rise to £1,253 in October when it goes up.

That's the cost for the average household of leaving appliances on standby between use.

But by turning those appliances off standby this could be reduced to 100 watts – come October that would save consumers £797, Loop estimated.

If prices increased by 20% in January next year, the total saving would go up to £857.

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Cost of running appliances in every room of your house from October revealed

In addition to the total savings, the team at Loop worked out how much you might be charged for using some common phantom load appliances now, from October and from January.

Extra fridges, old fridges or beer fridges

  • Average annual cost currently – £99 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £182 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £271 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

Old desktop computers

  • Average annual cost currently – £79 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £145 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £174 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

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Faulty set-top box recorder

  • Average annual cost currently – £149 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £273 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £327 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

Over-sensitive outdoor security lights

  • Average annual cost currently – £50 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £92 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £109 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

Traditional (non smart) electric heating (heating empty home – 40% of time)

  • Average annual cost currently – £739 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £1,355 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £1,628 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

Electric underfloor heating (one extra hour per day)

  • Average annual cost currently – £309 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £567 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £680 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

Two 60w outside lights left on 10 hours per night

  • Average annual cost currently – £125 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £229 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £274 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

Electric towel rail

  • Average annual cost currently – £149 (based on 28.3p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from October – £273 (based on 52p per unit)
  • Average annual cost from January – £327 (based on 62.4p per unit and a 20% increase from October)

Dr. Steve Buckley, head of data science at Loop, said: "Many people I speak to are really worried about their energy bills right now, and sadly the situation is not set to improve for some time yet.

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“The reality is that the only way we can lower our energy bills right now is to reduce the amount of energy we use and the key to that is measuring our use.

“If you measure it, you can control it. If you measure it, you can see the impact of changes you make."

What other help can you get with your energy bills?

Besides turning appliances off, there is extra help on offer for households struggling with their bills.

Some energy suppliers are offering grants to customers, such as British Gas, Scottish Power and Bulb.

There's also the £650 cost of living grant, which will be issued to around eight million people once everyone has been paid.

The £400 energy rebate will also start to be paid in instalments from October. It will be split into payments of £66 and £67 across six months.

On top of that, there's the £300 pensioner cost of living payment, the £150 warm home discount and £150 disability cost of living payment.

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If you're worried about falling behind on bills. there are plenty of organisations where you can get advice for free as well, including:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

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