Which? warns against buying ‘cheap’ appliances that rack up huge energy bills – including a £7 kettle that costs £50 a year to run

Some ‘cheap’ freezers, ovens and washing machines that cost under £500 could actually be pricier in the long run by adding hundreds of pounds to your energy bills over the course of a year, Which? has found.

Energy prices remain incredibly high and at a time when consumers are trying to keep their bills down, choosing efficient appliances can help keep costs to a minimum. 

Which? has looked at a number of appliances that, despite the lower price tag, have scored particularly badly for their energy efficiency and their running costs are a lot higher than the average Which? tested, based on figures from the consumer champion’s own tests.

Which? found the Hoover-HLEV10LG vented tumble dryer costs £279, but was the most expensive tumble dryer to run. Tests by the consumer champion found it would cost over five times as much to run as the most energy-efficient heat pump dryer. The Hoover’s annual running costs surpassed £200, making it the costliest choice on the Which? site. The average annual running cost for vented tumble dryers is £147 while condenser machines cost £140 annually. If you want to save on your electricity bills, go for an energy-efficient heat pump machine, which costs £57 on average a year to run.

Another appliance that was at risk of running up your energy bills more than you might expect was the Hisense RB327N4WW1 fridge freezer. This retails for around £399 but Which? found it would cost £113.12 a year to run when the average running cost for a freestanding model is £81. Which? has tested similar models that cost as little as £40 to run over a year. 

Although priced at an attractive price of £7, the Cookworks Plastic Kettle 825/6344 (in white) and 874/2119 (in black) could cost more than you expected in the long run. The consumer champion found this Argos kettle cost £50.74 a year to run. The average running cost for a kettle is £23, however Which? has found the most energy-efficient models cost only £8 a year to run.

Another product that scored poorly for its energy efficiency was the Beko DIN15X20 dishwasher. Retailing at £279 this appliance costs £88.89 to run, however the average running cost for a dishwasher is £78. The cheapest full-sized model to run tested by Which? costs around £55 a year to run.

Which? found that the average running cost of a washing machine was £65 a year, however the Hotpoint H8 W946WB (RRP £499) washing machine costs £86.22 to run. Compared to most 9kg-capacity washers, the main cottons 40°C wash uses roughly 35 per cent more energy. Which? found that the cheapest model to run costs £46 a year. 

For those looking for an affordable oven, Samsung NV7B41307AS built-in oven may seem like a good choice, however the Samsung oven only got one star for energy efficiency in Which?’s testing. It retails at £439 but of the ovens Which? has tested, this oven had the highest annual running cost for built-in ovens, at £79.47. The average running cost for this type of oven is £64, while Which? has found the cheapest models to run cost around £53 a year.

that comes at an affordable price tag is the Samsung UE43CU8000. However, despite retailing at around £369, this television costs £29.57 to run a year, more than the £24.82 average yearly running cost for a 43-inch TV. The most efficient TVs can cost less than £12 to run over the course of the year. 

Consumers will be relying on heaters this winter and the Dimplex 3kW Rugged Fan Heater (£79), used a lot of energy while it was switched on. Households using this heater on a regular basis could get a nasty shock on their energy bills if using the heater on max power for four hours a day, seven days a week for 20 weeks in winter – this could add up to almost £500 (£464.80). 

For those looking for an affordable and energy efficient device, Which?’s Eco Buys show that it is possible to have a sustainable and well-performing product, often with low running costs. These products can have higher upfront costs but consumers will make significant savings over the product’s lifetime.

The Bosch SPS4HMW53G dishwasher is an Eco Buy and scored highly for its very efficient auto and eco programs. This costs £55.39 to run across the year and is sold at £578.

For an affordable washing machine that does the job without racking up a huge energy bill, the Samsung WW80T554DAW/S1 (£449) is a Which? Eco Buy and costs £54.33 to run. 

Asda George Home GDK101B-22’s kettle is a Best Buy, Eco Buy, and Great Value product with an annual running cost of £11.17. Its retail price is £30, a bargain for a variable temperature kettle.


Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said:

“When buying a new household appliance, don’t be fooled by a low price point as this can mask bigger costs in the long run. 

“Which?’s robust testing goes further by including energy efficiency ratings so customers have a much clearer idea of the true cost of the product they’re buying.

“When looking to buy a new appliance you can check the Which? website for our recommended Eco Buys and tips on how to cut your energy costs generally.”




Notes to Editors

Prices from November 2023, based on the products live on our website at the time of publication. Running costs assume an electricity cost of 27.35p per kWh.

On 23rd November Ofgem will announce the unit rates for January 2024 so the running costs on our website are to be updated then. Unit rates and hence running costs are expected to go up.

Note the average running costs were based on this article which was published in August 2023 so figures may be subject to change. 


Which?’s tests measure how much energy appliances use. Based on this, we calculate how much they’ll cost to run using the most popular programmes and settings over the year. 

For our calculations, we presume you’re paying the average rate for electricity as set by Ofgem. To determine how much they cost over a year, we use an example scenario of how often each appliance is used by the average household. So, if you use your appliances particularly often or irregularly, you’ll need to scale our numbers up or down. Please note that the average running cost of these appliances depend on individual usage.

Fridge freezer figure based on constant use. Remaining appliance figures based on estimated typical use. 

Table of results

Item Annual running cost Lowest running costs Difference  Average running cost Retail price
Hoover-hlev10lg tumble vented  dryer £200 £37 £163 £82 £279
Hisense RB327N4WW1 Fridge freezer £113.12 £40 £59.12 £81 £399
Cookworks Plastic Kettle 825/6344 (in white)

874/2119 (in black)

£50.74 £8 £42.74 £23 £7
Beko DIN15X20 dishwasher £88.89 £45 £43.89 £78 £279
Hotpoint H8 W946WB washing machine £86.22 £46 £40.22 £65 £499
Samsung-nv7b41307as built in oven £79.47 £53 £26.47 £64 £439
Samsung UE43CU8000 television £29.57 £12 £17.57 £24.82 £369
Dimplex 3kW Rugged Fan Heater 83p per hour 9p per hour 74p 55p per hour £79


Things you can do to use less energy:

Adam Norris, Senior Product Manager Cleaning for Beko said: “At Beko we pride ourselves on providing affordable, energy-efficient dishwashers at a range of price points to ensure we meet consumer demand. As a business we made the decision to discontinue any F-rated appliances and upweight our A, B and C-rated appliances, demonstrating our commitment to energy efficiency and cost-savings for our customers. There are many independent statistics that show dishwashers (whether A or E-rated) can save both water and energy versus handwashing, so we would never want to discourage consumers from looking into owning a dishwasher, as longer term it will support overall household energy savings.”

A spokesperson for Hisense commented: “Hisense is committed to bringing new products to market that are energy efficient, to ensure that consumer’s bills are as low as possible, and this is reflected across our appliance ranges.

“The RB327N4WW1 referenced is one of our older models which launched back in 2019 and the figure quoted by Which? is higher than the running costs for this model stated elsewhere. Given the new EU regulations, all F Rated products are being removed from the market, and this will be replaced with the E Rated RB327N4WWE.”

A spokesperson for Samsung said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our products are built to be as energy efficient as possible and with varying functions to help monitor ongoing costs. Our focus is always on producing products that meet individual needs and budgets without compromising on the quality our customers expect from Samsung.”


Whirlpool declined commenting on Which?’s findings in relation to the Hotpoint H8 W946WB washing machine.


Argos, Dimplex and Hoover did not respond.


About Which?

Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.

The information in this press release is for editorial use by journalists and media outlets only. Any business seeking to reproduce information in this release should contact the Which? Endorsement Scheme team at endorsementscheme@which.co.uk.

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