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How Much Does it Cost to Boil a Kettle?

Are you worried about British energy bills this winter? Time to pop the kettle on - here's how to save a few quid...

cost to boil kettle in 2022 uk power station and kettle with level indicator compared

Brits drink around 100 million cups of tea, every day. That’s a lot of tea, but how much does it actually cost to boil a kettle?

Well, it kinda depends. If you boil one cup of water, it’ll cost you around a penny. 

However, if you fill the kettle to the max, you’re looking closer to 7p. Do this four times a day and it’ll cost you over £100 a year.

Keep Calm & Put the Kettle On

Clearly, what’s important is not overfilling your kettle. Better for the environment and better for your household bills, only boil the water you need. And not a drop more!

Recently, Boris Johnson caused something of a Twitter storm by comparing a kettle purchase to investing in nuclear energy.

What Did Boris Say About Kettles?

Boris Johnson, in his final few days as Prime Minister, suggested that buying a new kettle for £20 will save you £10 a year.

He used this analogy in an attempt to justify the long-term savings associated with nuclear energy.

“If you have an old kettle that takes ages to boil it may cost you £20 to replace it, but if you get a new one, you’ll save £10 a year for every year on your electricity bill”

Boris Johnson – September 2022

Assuming you’re kettle was made this century, buying a new model won’t save you a tenner a year. There are much better ways for tea drinkers to save money. Keep reading to learn more…

Although we haven’t conducted a cost-benefit analysis on Hinkley Point C, we have tested kettles, checked energy costs and run numerous calculations to help you save money.

A kettle costs significantly less to run than a washing machine, fridge or microwave, but the humble kettle costs more to run than any other small kitchen appliance.

How Much Does it Cost to Boil a Kettle?

In 2023, most of us will pay 34 pence per kWh of electricity used. We tested a 5-year-old 3kW Dualit kettle to see how much electricity it used. The basic calculation gives a cost of 1.7pence per minute. 

Boiling a single cup (250ml) takes 40 seconds – that’s just over a penny. Not bad for a cuppa!

However, fill the kettle to its 1.7-litre maximum capacity and it takes 3 minutes & twenty seconds to boil – 5.7pence.

Not all kettles are made equal. What’s important is that boiling the water quickly tends to use less energy and therefore costs less to run. For this reason, when buying new it’s usually more energy efficient to choose a fast boiling 3kW kettle.

this old copper electric kettle takes a long time to boil and is expensive to run
Time to Buy a New Kettle?

How Old is Your Kettle?

Assuming your kettle was manufactured this century and is capable of boiling a single cup, it’s probably ok. If you’re not sure, time how long it takes to boil a cup of water. If it’s less than a minute, you’re all good. 

If you’re thinking it’s time for an upgrade, take a look here at the best kettles you can buy in the UK

What About the New Energy Cap?

This winter, energy bills will be significantly higher than ever before in the UK. 

The good news is under the new cap (announced Sep 8), bills will be much lower compared to previous estimates. However, most households are looking at a 22/23 winter energy bill approaching double last year’s.

There’s much talk about the £2500 price cap, but most of us get billed, based on how much gas & electricity we actually use. The national average price per kWh is expected to be 34p for electricity from October. Significantly less than the 52p per unit originally planned, but still, a chunk more than the summer cap of 28p/kWh or the 19p/kWh most of us paid this time last year in 2021.

Using less energy has never looked more appealing! Few of us can afford solar panels or a wind turbine, but there are plenty of energy-saving tips & tricks that cost nothing and add up to make a sizable difference.

Save Money & Enjoy Your Tea

  1. Don’t overfill the kettle – only boil what you need. As a guide, boiling a single cup costs around a penny while filling the kettle can set you back around 7pence for each boil.
  2. Descale your kettle. A clean, scale-free kettle will boil quicker & use less energy. Plus, it will last much longer – saving you more money.

What to Look for When Buying a New Kettle? 

Look out for these energy-saving features…

  1. Check the minimum fill (low is good). You want to be able to boil the right amount of water. 
  2. A clear level indicator means you can see how much water you’re boiling.
  3. Insulated kettles will keep the water hot for longer. If you’re someone who often needs a second cup, dual wall or insulated kettles (like this model from Bosch) will keep the water warm, making reboiling quicker & cheaper.
  4. A variable temperature kettle makes sense if you ever drink herbal tea or use your kettle to make coffee. 
  5. Choose a 3kW fast boil kettle. In most cases, boiling the water quickly is cheaper than a slow, less efficient model. 

If you’re thinking about buying a new kettle and would like to know more about which model to go for and why you should avoid plastic, click here to see the Verum best kettle verdicts.

SOURCES: Thank you to the UK Tea and Infusions Association for sharing the 100 million cups of tea consumed daily figure and to Full Fact for their analysis of the Boris Johnson ‘kettle & power station’ speech


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