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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
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QUIZ: Can you tell which household appliance uses more energy?
With the cost of living crisis continuing to affect families, how well do you know your household appliances and their energy use?

UNDERSTANDING THE ENERGY use of household appliances is incredibly important if you want to lower your energy bills.

In the wake of rising energy costs in Ireland, the government has introduced a range of measures to support households and businesses struggling to keep up with their energy bills. These supports aim to alleviate the financial burden on consumers and ensure that energy remains affordable and accessible for everyone.

The government has also produced resources to help people understand where they’re using energy in their home and raise awareness of everyday ways to cut down on energy usage.

With this in mind, we’ve created a quiz to test your knowledge on various household appliances and their energy usage in your home. We’ve placed two appliances side by side, and your job is to select the appliance you think uses more energy*.

We’ve also provided some explainers** underneath the quiz on each answer, but don’t peek down there until you’ve taken the quiz.

Which of these appliances costs more to run?
TV (4 hours)
Hair Dryer (15 minutes)
This one is very close, but which costs more?
LED lighting (7 hours)
Toaster (5 minutes)
Cleaning your dishes or gaming, which costs more?
Dishwasher (1 hour)
Games Console (3 hours)
Faster or slower?
Electric Cooker (2 hours)
Slow Cooker (5 hours)
This one is fairly straightforward.
Wifi Router (24 hours)
Washing Machine (1 hour)
Which one is correct?
Immersion Heater (1 hour)
Desktop Computer (8 hours)
Remember the general rule, if it makes things hot, it likely uses more energy.
Laptop (5 hours office work + 2 hours gaming)
Kettle (15 minutes)
Both of these are energy intensive, but which costs more?
Tumble Dryer (30 minutes)
Electric Shower (10 minutes)
This one is tricky.
Iron (30 minutes)
Microwave (5 minutes)
And finally, can you nail the last question?
Gas Central Heating (5 hours)
Oil Central Heating (5 hours)
Answer all the questions to see your result!
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If you want to cut down on your energy usage in your home, a good place to start is the SEAI’s Home Energy Saving Tips which offers easy advice to help cut down your energy bills.

The Breakdown

1. A TV costs €0.10 to run for 4 hours while a hair dryer costs €0.16 to run for 15 minutes. 

2. LED lighting costs €0.09 to run for 7 hours but although a toaster uses significantly more energy, for 5 minutes of use it costs €0.06.

3. It costs €0.26 for one hour of dishwasher use, slightly more than the €0.22 it costs to run a games console for 3 hours.

4. Slow cookers are more energy efficient than their electric rivals, costing €0.26 for 5 hours compared to €1.26 for 2 hours of an electric oven.

5. In general to run your Wifi router for a full 24 hours, it will cost €0.06 cent. Washing machines on average cost €0.26 to operate for 1 hour.

6. Unsurprisingly, the immersion heater is rather expensive to run coming in at €1.02 per hour, while your desktop at home costs €0.22 for 8 hours of runtime.

7. We’re assuming you got this one correct, the kettle is notoriously expensive to run costing €0.20 for 15 minutes. If you’re working from home and using your laptop for gaming, it will cost an average of €0.11 for 7 hours of use.

8. A real battle of the big hitters here, but it’s the electric shower which will dent your pocket the most costing €0.65 for 10 minutes of use, compared to €0.42 for half an hour of tumble drying.

9. There’s not much between these two but it’s the time that sets them apart with the iron which is more expensive at €0.21 for half an hour of ironing with the microwave coming in at €0.04 for 5 minutes.

10. These two are very tight, but oil central heating costs circa €11.40 to run for 5 hours, while gas costs €11.20 to run 5 five hours***.


If you are finding it difficult to pay your energy bills, you should contact your energy supplier. They are obliged to ensure vulnerable customers are not disconnected at any time and have to give you an affordable repayment plan if you have built up any debt.

Contact the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) – they can help you understand your rights as an energy consumer.  Visit or call 1800 404 404. MABS, the Money Advice Budgeting Service, is a free, independent, and confidential service, that provides practical support and advice on managing money and debts, including energy bills (visit or call 0818 07 2000 Mon-Fri 9am-8pm). ALONE are also on hand to support anyone in difficulty – their National Support Referral Line is 0818 222 024.

More information on the services and supports available can be found at

Some other helpful tips to try and reduce your energy usage include:

  • Using a lower temperature for your washing machine and dishwasher, as well as not using both until you have a full load.
  • Insulating your hot water tank and hot water pipes with foam tubing, especially in unheated areas like the attic can have noticeable results.
  • Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use. Some of these can use 20% of their energy, even in standby mode.
  • Reducing the temperature on your thermostats by just one degree (to 19 degrees) can help lower your heating bill by 10%.
  • Consider investing in the highest energy-rated home appliances you can afford when replacing them, the long-term savings can negate additional cost up front.

*This is a snapshot in time from data in August to October 2022 and should be used for illustrative purposes only. Average energy price per unit (kWh) were calculated based on standard direct debit tariffs from a range of retail suppliers in Ireland and are set at a standard 24-hour rate electricity tariff of 34 c per kWh and a standard rate of 14 c per kWh.

** The appliance electricity consumption estimates are based on an average of ratings following a search of current domestic retail supplier devices currently on the market in Ireland. Remember that your appliance age, temperature settings (if applicable) and energy efficiency rating may be different, so adjust and consider accordingly.

*** The gas or kerosene oil price, Building Energy Rating (BER) of your home, as well as the condition, efficiency and age, operational volumes (such as water heating, zones, bath, sink), thermostat and valve settings of your boiler, and the condition of your pipes, and radiators, greatly affect your heating costs, so please be advised that these are estimates.

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