An electric kettle uses a surprising amount of energy! Try using EcoFrenzy’s simple money saving techniques when boiling your kettle, it’s amazing what a difference you could make to your energy bills and CO₂ imprint.
Money saving tips
Do not boil more water than you require
People often boil far more water than they require, so boil just enough for your cup / cups to start saving money.
Boiling 1 litre of water costs around 4.3p
Boiling 1 cup (385ml) of water costs around 1.7p, based on 5 x 1 cup boils per day – the savings per year would be around £48 = 44kg CO₂
Efficient electric kettles
The most efficient electric kettles can use up to 30% less energy than the average product. This saves 0.5p every time you boil 1 cup of water. If boiled 5 times per day, over 1 year this would save £9 = 8kg CO₂.
Re-use tea bags
Make 2 cups of tea (1 for you and 1 for a friend) at the same time using the same teabag. If you make 4 cups of tea a day you could save £16 per year!
Kettles with a temperature selector are useful – green tea is best brewed at 80˚C and coffee at 90˚C – over the course of a year if you only drink green tea you could save around £12 = 11kg CO₂.
Vacuum kettles act like a thermos flask, after boiling the water stays hot for up to 4 hours.
Try and choose a cylindrical shaped kettle rather than one that is wider at the bottom. The cylindrical shape means that the minimum fill is smaller and reduces boiling time.
Lime scale and your kettle
Lime scale will affect the performance of your kettle, it stops the element conducting heat efficiently and increases the time for water to boil. De-scale your kettle if you see a build up by boiling it half full with a 50/50 white vinegar and water mix, then leave for 15-20 mins. This will help save energy and money.
Most electric kettles now have the heating element concealed by a stainless steel plate, this means you can pour in the exact amount of water you need rather than covering the element and needlessly boiling extra water.
A clear compartment on the side of your kettle ensures you can see the level of water to boil.
Green kettles have two compartments so you can release as little as one cup of water from one compartment to the other to be boiled, a simple but effective way to reduce energy consumption and save money.
Electric kettles turn themselves off, whilst hob kettles can be left boiling indefinitely, wasting energy and money.
Dangers of old-style electric kettles
Using boiled water from old-style electric kettles may be worsening skin allergies because of nickel leaching off exposed elements.
Nasty chemicals can come from plastic kettles
BPA (bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical used to make certain plastics and resins. When these plastics in kettles are exposed to heat, the material starts to break down causing imperfections that allow BPA to enter the boiled water. Studies show that BPA can imitate our body’s own hormones in a way that could be hazardous for health.
Potential CO₂ savings
If 1.75 million people use a kettle 5 times a day to boil 1 litre of water, over the course of 1 year this will produce the equivalent amount of CO₂ as the weight of the largest ship to pass through the Suez Canal – a mighty 194,849 tonnes.