How much energy does it take to bring a kettle of water to a boil, and what are the least expensive options for doing so?

Boris Johnson sparked outrage after suggesting that Britons buy a new kettle to save money on their energy bills, prompting many to wonder how much it costs to boil a kettle.

Because of the energy price cap (Opens in a new window) Many people are still looking for ways to save energy at home, despite the newly announced Energy Price Guarantee (which means average energy prices will not rise by the 80% previously reported, but will instead be frozen at £2,500 based on typical use until April 2023). (Opens in a new window) in the fight against rising living costs

Goodto Sarah Handley, Money Editor at com (Opens in a new window) "Liz Truss' announcement of the Energy Price Guarantee," says (Opens in a new window) will have come as welcome news to households in England, Scotland, and Wales, who were bracing for an 80% increase in energy prices in October. However, even though average annual bills for typical use will be frozen at £2,500 until spring 2023, this is still more expensive than what we were paying at the end of 2021.

"Many families will continue to struggle to pay their energy bills." And, while it is not a panacea, knowing how much your most frequently used appliances cost to run can only help highlight where you may be using more energy than necessary."

As the weather cools, our energy consumption will rise, and something as simple as making a cup of tea could be wasting money. To ensure you're saving as much money as possible, we looked at how much it costs to boil a kettle and the cheapest ways to boil water.

It currently costs about 1 to boil a cup of water in a kettle. 28p based on an average 3kW kettle boiling in 45 seconds. That is based on the current unit price of electricity, which is 34p per kWh.  

It's understandable that boiling a full kettle is more expensive. Most kettles have a capacity of around 1 liter. 7 litres of water in approximately four minutes You should budget for . A full kettle costs 8p to boil.  

If you drank two cups of tea every day for a year and only boiled enough water, it would cost you £9. 34 However, if you boiled a full kettle each time, the cost would be £49. 64 So, rather than boiling a full kettle, it's definitely more cost effective to only boil what you need.  

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Column 0 is a header cell. Price per cup Price per full kettle 3kW kettle 1.28p 6.8p Annual cost assuming two hot drinks per day £9 34 £49 64

Are some kettles less expensive to boil than others?

Some kettles are more energy efficient than others, which means they cost less to heat.

Kettles with poor insulation, for example, will lose heat as they boil and thus take longer to reach boiling point. Furthermore, limescale reduces the efficiency of kettles and can cause them to take longer to boil.

When purchasing a kettle, look for energy-saving features.

  • Variable temperatures - Some kettles allow you to heat water to temperatures below boiling, which saves energy. Because it is not always necessary for the water to be at 100 degrees, consider purchasing a kettle that can also heat water to lower temperatures.
  • Low minimum fill - Because it's always cheaper to boil less water, kettles with a lower minimum fill will save you money if you're only heating water for one cup of tea.
  • Water level gauge - A kettle with a clear window that clearly shows how much water is boiling will help you save energy by not boiling more than you need.
  • Removable filter - Because limescale reduces kettle efficiency, choosing one with a removable filter makes descale easier and helps save energy.

An open kettle with limescale in the bottom

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Cira Jones (Opens in a new window) "A clear window with cup markings allows you to see how much water is in the kettle so you don't boil more water than you may need," says Russell Hobbs' Assistant Brand Manager. When it comes to your kettle, this is one of the best ways to save energy.  

"A variable temperature kettle is also an excellent way to use only the amount of energy required." Setting your kettle to heat water at any temperature between 40°C and 100°C means you can make a speciality tea without ruining its delicate flavors, gently heat a baby's bottle - or go'red hot' to make a strong tea or coffee. " 

Is it less expensive to boil water in a kettle or on the stove?

The cost of boiling water in a kettle versus on the stove depends on the type of stove you have. It will cost about the same as an electric kettle if you have an electric hob. However, if you have a gas hob, boiling water on the hob is less expensive than boiling water in a kettle because gas is less expensive per kWh than electricity.

For the most efficient boiling, use a high heat and a lid on the pan of water, and measure out the water first so you don't boil more than you need.

Furthermore, according to recent research (Opens in a new window) Utilita, an energy supplier (Opens in a new window) as well as the supermarket chain Iceland (Opens in a new window) Allowing water to simmer rather than boiling can save £68 per year.  

Household appliance running costs Oct 2022

(Photo credit: Future)

How to Reduce Energy Consumption When Boiling a Kettle

  • Don't overfill the kettle - The more water you boil, the more energy you use, so only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need.
  • Descale on a regular basis - Removing limescale will improve the efficiency of your kettle. You can buy limescale remover at the supermarket, but you can also soak your kettle in half water and half white vinegar.
  • Unplugging the kettle when not in use - Leaving devices plugged in at the socket can result in them still using a small amount of power, so unplugging your kettle from the wall when not in use can help you save some energy.  

Top 5 Kettles to Help You Save Money

  • Amazon has the Vektra VEK-1560 Insulated Kettle. (Opens in a new window)
  • Currys sells the Breville Edge Still Hot Jug Kettle. (Opens in a new window)
  • B&M sells the Russell Hobbs Honeycomb Kettle. (Opens in a new window)
  • B&M sells the Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser. (Opens in a new window)

You might also be interested in our other articles about appliance running costs, such as:

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