Information about the cost-of-living crisis and inflation hitting a 40-year high has dominated the news. And with food and energy prices not just rising, but skyrocketing, the majority of UK households are feeling an undeniable squeeze.


With significant price increases forecasted until the end of 2023, households are looking for ways to keep their energy costs down. While it's unrealistic to stop using our home appliances altogether, there are both short-term- and lifestyle-changes that households can undertake to easily reduce energy bills.

One of the steps you can take to reduce your bills is to opt for energy-efficient appliances. Research by Which? found that households could save up to £3,360 over the course of a decade by doing this.

But how do you identify an energy-efficient appliance?

All small electrical appliances – kettles, toasters, air fryers, to name a few – have a wattage. Simply put, the wattage indicates the amount of energy needed to power the appliance. Generally speaking, appliances that run for a few hours (e.g. slow cookers) have a low wattage.

You may notice appliances like kettles having a comparatively high wattage, usually a few thousand kilowatt hours. But small appliances that only run for a few minutes need a larger surge of energy to get the job done. And often, it is more economical to choose appliances that cause this large surge than to try and replicate the same results another way. For example, heating water in a pan on the stove or toasting bread under the grill.

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Large white goods like fridge-freezers and dishwashers come with an energy efficiency rating. Because these appliances often remain plugged in day in day out, their overall efficiency is displayed on an A-G scale, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least.

This scale was changed in 2021 from an A+++ - G rating scale to the current scale to encourage brands to make their white goods more energy-efficient. This means that white goods that previously flaunted A+++ now sit around the C-E area. Ovens are still classified using the old A+++ scale. For more information on energy labels, head to the Energy Saving Trust.

The product categories that feature on this list are a selection of those, according to research by Statista, that almost every household owns, for example kettles, microwaves and fridge-freezers. As well as those that we believe will help you cut energy costs when cooking, namely slow cookers and air fryers. If one of your old appliances has given up the ghost, follow our advice and opt for a more energy-efficient option.

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How to calculate an appliance's cost per day

Want to know whether your current appliances are energy-efficient? There’s a simple sum to calculate its daily cost. Take the wattage and multiply that by the hours of use per day, then divide the total by 1000. The result is the appliance’s estimated daily kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Do be aware, this number will vary depending on your energy supplier and area. If you have a smart meter, there’s no need to do this calculation as you’ll be able to see the cost when in use.

For more help on how to save energy across the home, not just in the kitchen, useful tips and resources can be found at Citizens Advice site and the government website.

What does “energy-efficient” mean?

We’ve used the term “energy-efficient” a lot already, but what does it actually mean? Of course, low wattage means less energy consumption. But, as we have found through years of rigorous testing, a low wattage can sometimes hinder performance, resulting in appliances that either lack oomph or are comparatively slow to get the job done. Striking the balance is no mean feat, so this guide only features our best performing, low wattage appliances.

Best-performing energy-efficient appliances at a glance, tested by experts

  • Energy efficient slow cooker: Morphy Richards Easy Time slow cooker, £64.99
  • Energy efficient air fryer: Cosori Pro 4.7L air fryer, £99.99
  • Energy efficient combination microwave: Hotpoint Supreme Chef MWH 338 SX, £329
  • Energy efficient microwave: Russell Hobbs RHMD714G, £94
  • Energy efficient kettle: Zwilling Enfinigy kettle Pro, £129
  • Energy efficient toaster: Breville VTT981 Edge 2-slice toaster, £35
  • Energy efficient fridge freezer: Beko Integrated 50/50 frost-free fridge freezer, £479
  • Energy efficient dishwasher: Siemens iQ300 freestanding dishwasher SN23EC14CG, £769

Best-performing energy efficient appliances 2023

Energy-efficient slow cooker

Morphy Richards Easy Time slow cooker

Morphy Richards Easy Time slow cooker

Wattage: 165W

Star rating: 5/5

Earning the award for best simple slow cooker with timer, this model impressed us in-test. It’s easy to use, and comes with the ever-so-useful addition of a timer.

There are three temperature settings to choose from: low, medium and high, and the automatic timer runs for up to 12 hours (in one-hour increments). Should you not make it home before the timer finishes, this model keeps food warm for up to two hours.

A brilliant slow cooker, with a low wattage, that produced just the results we were looking for.

Read our full Morphy Richards Easy Time review

Energy efficient air fryer

Cosori Pro 4.7L Air Fryer

Cosori Pro 4.7L air fryer

Wattage: 1500W

Star rating: 5/5

Lightweight, modern and understated, this Cosori air fryer is a stylish addition to the kitchen.

It’s equipped with seven different presets (chicken, bacon, fries, frozen, steak, seafood and veggies) and its 4.7L capacity is a good size for two mains or four side dishes.

For ease, all removable parts are dishwasher-safe. We found its comparatively low yet powerful 1500 watts a little ferocious for some dishes – namely, roast chicken – so reduced the temperature by 10C.

Read our full Cosori Pro 4.7L air fryer review

Energy efficient combination microwave

Hotpoint Supreme Chef MWH 338 SX

hotpoint microwave in black and grey with star buy badge

Wattage: 900W (1200W for grill)

Star rating: 5/5

This combination microwave thoroughly impressed us in test. Not only did it excel when completing classic microwave tasks (cooking a jacket potato and defrosting chicken) but it comes equipped with an impressive array of combination cooking settings.

There are plenty of presets to use in place of your oven, including baking, roasting and crisping capabilities, which all produced brilliant results.

A comprehensive manual is included as there are lots of settings and functions to familiarise yourself with. Overall, this is a great microwave that will quickly replace the oven.

Read our full Hotpoint Supreme Chef MWH 388 SX review

Available from:

Hughes (£329)

Energy-efficient microwave

Russell Hobbs RHMD714G

Black microwave with wood handle and gold badge

Wattage: 700W

Star rating: 4/5

Featuring unique touches like faux wood handles and a matt grey casing, this model has an elegant Scandi feel.

It has eight simple-to-use auto-cook settings and multi-stage cooking programs.

We found the lower wattage meant some items took longer to cook and defrost, namely the frozen chicken, but overall, each item we cooked did come out well.

A good option if you’re after a simple, low-energy microwave.

Read our full Russell Hobbs RHMD714G microwave

Energy-efficient kettle

Zwilling Enfinigy kettle Pro

Zwilling kettle

Wattage: 1850W

This is not your standard kettle. Delve into the instruction manual of this model and you’ll find a range of original settings, including one for sterilising bottles.

This model benefits from a double-walled construction, meaning whilst the inner portion of the kettle is hot, the outer wall remains cool. It’s no wonder this kettle was deemed best for parents.

Coffee and herbal tea drinkers will know that hot water shouldn’t be boiling for these drinks. This is a multi-temperature kettle and, as such, you can select from 60, 70, 80, or a very precise 93 degrees for coffee, as well as the standard 100 degrees. The low wattage and its ability to restrict the temperature of the water make this a brilliant energy-efficient option.

Read our full review of the Zwilling Enfinigy kettle Pro

Available from:

Fenwick (£129)
Borough Kitchen (£129)

Energy-efficient toaster

Breville VTT981 Edge 2-slice toaster

Breville Edge

Wattage: 1050W

Star rating: 4.5/5

We loved this model for its sleek appearance and nifty “lift and look” function that allows you to check on the progress of your toasted goods without cancelling the program.

It’s simple in functionality as it only comes with basic settings (toast, reheat, defrost) but there are an impressive nine toasting levels, so you really can get your toast spot-on.

The slots were wide enough for even the thickest of bread slices. Our only gripe was that this model didn’t brown each slice to the same level on both sides.

Read our full review of the Breville VTT981 Edge 2-slice toaster

Energy-efficient fridge-freezer

Beko Integrated 50/50 frost-free fridge-freezer

Beko integrated fridge freezer BCFD350

Energy efficiency class: F

Now, bear with us on this one. Although the 'F' energy-efficiency class sounds off-putting, under the old classification system, this fridge-freezer would have been classed as 'A+'. And, according to AO, this model costs £45.90 to run, annually.

This 50/50 split fridge-freezer is ideal for those who are looking to meal prep or tend to freeze lots. For added efficiency, the freezer compartment is frost-free, so you can use every inch of the 91 litres.

We loved the useful extras like the door alarm and reversible door. While this isn’t as high-tech as some other models on the market, it does get the basics right.

Energy-efficient dishwasher

Siemens iQ300 freestanding dishwasher SN23EC14CG

Siemens iQ300 freestanding dishwasher SN23EC14CG dishwasher

Energy efficiency class: C

This Siemens dishwasher offers smart home compatibility at an accessible price. Not only does it come with enough space for 13 place settings, but this model is both WiFi enabled and voice-control compatible.

Two useful features come in the form of varioSpeedPlus, which allows you to shorten the runtime of cycles as well as the intensiveZone program that increases the strength of the water-spraying pressure – ideal for cleaning stuck-on grime.

There are also six cycle options, plus a favourites button.

Energy-saving tips

  • Install a smart meter to make costing up your usage easier
  • Don’t leave your appliances on standby
  • Switch your appliances off at the wall rather than standby
  • Defrost your food in the fridge to help keep its temperature down
  • Batch cook
  • Check the seals on your fridge and freezer – loose or broken seals should be replaced
  • Look out for frost build-up in your freezer – thaw it when it gets to around ¼ inch thick
  • Only boil the amount of water you need
  • Load the dishwasher correctly to maximise space and wash full loads
  • Open your dishwasher door to let your dishes dry naturally, rather than using the drying cycle
  • Use your microwave more to save time and money over heating a traditional oven for certain dishes
  • Use a microwave to reheat food
  • Choose the right size pan for your hob ring e.g. small ring for a small pan
  • Opt for a larger pan to make the most of the surface area
  • Keep your stovetop clean
  • Use your low-wattage slow cooker or pressure cooker rather than the hob for long cooking

Your guide to energy-efficient appliances
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