Britain is a nation of avid tea drinkers so it’s no surprise that one of the most used electrical appliances in our kitchens is our electric kettles. However, with the cost of energy on the rise, more people are looking for ways to save energy. Most of the energy efficient kettles on the market can help to cut some of these costs which is why more people are buying one of these.
A high use of energy also increases carbon footprinting that’s harmful to our atmosphere which more people are becoming aware of. However, there’s still a lot of people who don’t even realise the amount of energy standard kettles consume or how an energy efficient kettle can help. To help you understand the benefits of using an energy efficient kettle, we’ve put it all together this article.
What Makes a Kettle Energy Efficient?
There’s not a big difference between an energy saving kettle and a standard electric one. However, there are features that’s in an eco kettle that a conventional one wouldn’t have. To make it easier for you, we’ve listed the features on what makes a kettle energy efficient.
Clear Water Level Indicator
Being able to see how much water you’re filling the kettle with will prevent you from boiling more water than you need. Many kettles in general should have ‘windows’ with clear water level markings to see the water level so it should be no different with energy saving kettles. The only kettles which tend not to have this feature is small capacity kettles.
Integrated Measuring Cup
Some of the best energy efficient kettles have a small integrated measuring cup built inside the kettle making it look like a double chamber. The water is filled into the integrated measuring cup with measuring marks to the desired amount which helps to provide an easier and more accurate way to measure the amount of water you need.
One Cup Minimum Fill
A lot of standard kettles tend to have a minimum fill level of 2 cups especially larger capacity kettles. It isn’t great when you’re making tea for yourself only. Most eco kettles will have a very low minimum fill level – some have even as low as 235ml which of course, saves a lot of time and electricity.
Brief Over-boil Time
The majority of electric kettles will automatically switch off once the water has come to a boil. However, a lot of them tend to boil longer than necessary before it switches off. Most energy efficient kettles have a shorter over boil time which means that as soon as the water boils, it turns off immediately helping to save more energy.
Multiple Temperature Settings
This brings us onto our next point – temperature controls to heat water to a desired temperature. Not all hot drinks will need boiling hot water to make, some require a lower temperature for a better taste or to prevent burning e.g. coffee. Being able to heat your water to the required heat means less energy is used. Most newer energy efficient kettles will have this feature so if you’re a serious tea drinker, this is ideal for you.
Some of the best energy saving kettles can keep your boiled hot water at the same temperature it boiled at for up to 6 hours. That means you can still have that perfect hot drink hours after the water was boiled. It beats reheating your drink in the microwave! This saves electricity, time and money from you having to boil your kettle again. It’s perfect for any home that’s constantly boiling the kettle throughout the day.
How Much Power a Non Efficient Electric Kettle Can Consume
The Energy Saving Trust Company estimated that the average British household boils a kettle up to 1500 times a year. That’s about 4 or 5 times per day. However, not everyone in the household will use the kettle at the same time so we’re probably using it up to 8 times a day! Don’t forget, it’s not just for hot drinks we use the kettle for, some of us use it when we need hot water for cooking too.
A typical standard 1800 watts electric kettle can consume 20p per hour each time that it’s used. It doesn’t sound like a lot of money but when you’re using it every day, it all adds up. By the end of the year, you would have wasted anything from £20 – £30.
That’s almost as expensive as watching TV for a few hours or going on your computer for nearly the whole day everyday! Using one of the most energy efficient kettles could save you up to 40% of the cost of using a conventional kettle. You’ll be spending less than £20 a year instead.
A Final Word on Energy Efficient Kettles
An energy saving kettle is the best way to help save energy and money, but there are other things you could do as well including:
- Descaling your kettle regularly – limescale build up in your kettle will cause boiling performance to reduce so it will take longer for your kettle to boil. As a result, more energy will be used for this.
- Boil only what you need – the more water you boil, the longer it will take and as a result, the more energy the kettle will consume.
- Save any leftover hot water – if your eco kettle doesn’t have a keep warm function, pour any leftover water into a thermos to use for cooking or other hot drinks that don’t require boiling hot water.
If you’re unsure what kettle has what features, you can check out our reviews of the top 5 best eco kettles.