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The home appliances increasing your energy bill when they’re not in use

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 7th May 2024 - 2 minutes to read

Some of your home appliances continue to draw electricity even when they’re not in use, which can considerably increase your energy bill over the course of a year. Leaving appliances on standby really isn’t a good idea, especially at this time of rising prices.

The cost of living crisis is affecting homes throughout Scotland, but there are steps you can take to reduce your energy bill, which maybe you hadn’t considered before. So here are the home appliances you should unplug when you’re not using them, to save yourself some money.


Along with games consoles, televisions are highly likely to be left in standby mode in many households. The remote control turns off the screen but leaves the TV in standby mode unless you switch it off completely, either using a rocker switch on the TV itself, or at the plug.

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Games consoles

Some households have multiple games consoles, particularly those with large families, which makes it unsurprising that consoles such as Xbox and Playstation can significantly increase your energy bill if left on standby. This is especially so when you consider that games are played through the TV, which is also likely to be left on standby.


It’s very easy to switch on a printer, use it once, and then forget that it’s still on. Printers are also generally placed on a shelf or underneath a computer where the ‘on’ or standby light isn’t readily visible. This increases the risk of using more electricity than you need, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of switching your printer off at the plug after you’ve used it.


Laptops have become indispensable for us as the working from home movement or hybrid working continues. Leaving a laptop charging when the battery is already full, perhaps overnight, can use up a considerable amount of energy, however. Switching off the laptop rather than simply shutting down the lid will also help to prevent your energy bill increasing unnecessarily.

Smart speakers

Smart speakers are a relatively new piece of technology that can improve our lives in various ways. Unfortunately, they can also drive up our energy bills if we leave them on standby when we’re not using them.

Baby monitors

If you have a young baby you’ll most likely use a baby monitor to listen for them crying, or to keep an eye on them when they’re sleeping. If the baby isn’t asleep, however, or you don’t need to monitor them, it’s worthwhile switching the monitor off rather than leaving the system on standby, as it will draw electricity that’s not needed.

Charging mobile phones

We’re probably all guilty of leaving our mobile phone charger plugged in even when the phone is fully charged. It’s common practice to charge a mobile overnight, but the phone may only take a couple of hours or so to take on a full charge. This means its consuming excessive energy, so maybe try charging your phone during the daytime when you can check when it’s fully charged and unplug straight away.


Stereo equipment that’s left plugged in or on standby is similar to your TV and games consoles. It continues to draw energy even when it’s not being used, leading to an electricity bill that’s higher than it needs to be at the end of the month.

Coffee makers

Coffee makers can be impressive pieces of equipment these days, making a range of different coffees previously only available from coffee shops. Unfortunately, many coffee makers also have a digital read-out that uses up electricity when the machine is left on.


In a similar way to coffee makers, the digital displays that are inherent with microwaves drain energy when not in use, so switch your microwave off at the plug rather than leaving the digital display on continuously.

Unplugging your home appliances will save you money on your energy bills, and with tariffs currently at historic highs, anything you can do to reduce your usage will make a difference to your finances overall.

If you would like more energy-saving advice on keeping up with your bills, Scotland Debt Solutions can help. We help Scottish residents to deal with debt, budget effectively, and manage their money, so please contact one of the team to arrange a free, same-day meeting.

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Sharon McDougall


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