Lightbulb moment: Test your home energy knowledge today!

Written by Rebecca Jones on 16th May 2019

Edit November 2021: Please note that Bulb has now gone into ‘special administration’ in the UK because of the energy crisis that has sent wholesale gas prices soaring.


We all know that using the washing machine overnight is cheaper (well, at least it used to be) while making sure we unplug all of our devices rather than leaving them on standby is also a big energy cost saver.

Few of us, however, do it; because between dragging ourselves out of bed before the third snooze, throwing the kids into their uniforms and maybe – if she’s lucky – putting some Whiskas down for the cat, unplugging the microwave before we barrel-roll everyone to the car is not a priority.

Be that as it may, though, energy costs in the UK continue to rise regardless (or perhaps because) of Ofgem’s ingenious price cap, with the average big six British household on a standard variable tariff paying over £1,100 per year for their energy as of the end of March. And today, this is estimated to be over £1,250 as Ofgem hiked the aforementioned price cap to £1,254 last month.

Switching energy suppliers is of course crucial and – wonderfully – the UK’s renewable energy providers boast some of the most competitive rates on the market. These include Bulb and OVO, with both currently offering deals around £300 cheaper than British Gas’s standard tariff (based on a search of the USwitch platform for a 3 bedroom home in South London 16 May 2019).

For more on how to make your energy supply as Good as you are, see our guide to the Top 5 Greenest Energy Providers for 2019 

Out with the old, in with the LED

However, regularly switching suppliers (and unplugging stuff when you remember) isn’t all we can all do to save on energy. According to research by high street furnisher Hillarys, we all stand to save pounds and the planet by switching to more energy efficient appliances.

In a new online game, the brand tests Britons’ knowledge on the running costs of different home appliances. It reveals that the average plasma TV, for example, costs nearly £22 per year to run. For the far-more energy efficient LED version, though, Hillarys says that the running costs fall to just £8.66 – that’s a 60 per cent saving!

See how much you know about your appliances by playing Hillarys Home Energy game below:

The games times how long it takes players to rank the appliances in the correct order. At the end of the game, players will discover how well they’ve done.

Tara Hall, spokesperson for, comments: “Understanding how much it costs to run everyday appliances can really help reduce household expenditure. This game is a fun way of showing consumers how much they could save, and it might help them make more informed decisions when it comes to replacing everyday items.”

Hillarys says other appliances consumers could save significantly on include their light bulbs, with the standard halogen bulb costing an astonishing 80 per cent more to run every year than an LED bulb (£8.42 versus £1.71).

Gamers could also save by switching consoles, with Hillarys research revealing that a Sony Playstation 4 consumes double the energy of a Nintendo Wii, with the former costing £30.94 to run a year and the later just £15.52 (depending on how much it’s used, of course…).

While switching appliances may be costly in the short term, over the longer term you are likely to save both money and the planet – it’s really a win win. And if you fancy MAKING money while saving the world, check out our Good Guide to Impact Investing.

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