Which? warns against buying ‘cheap’ appliances that rack up huge energy bills

Energy & Efficiency, Home Appliances, News
Kettles, like this one from Cookworks, are very cheap to buy but very expensive to run, Which? research has found

Some ‘cheap’ freezers, ovens and washing machines that cost under £500 could be pricier in the long run by adding hundreds of pounds to your energy bills over a year, Which? has found.

Energy prices remain incredibly high and, at a time when consumers are trying to keep their bills down, choosing efficient appliances can help keep costs to a minimum. 

Which? has looked at a number of appliances that, despite the lower price tag, have scored particularly badly for their energy efficiency and their running costs are a lot higher than the average Which? tested, based on figures from the consumer organisation’s own tests.

Which? found the Hoover-HLEV10LG vented tumble dryer costs £279, but was the most expensive tumble dryer to run. Tests by Which? found it would cost over five times as much to run as the most energy-efficient heat pump dryer. The Hoover’s annual running costs surpassed £200, making it the costliest choice on the Which? site.

The average annual running cost for vented tumble dryers is £147 while condenser machines cost £140 annually. If you want to save on your electricity bills, go for an energy-efficient heat pump machine, which costs £57 on average a year to run.

Another appliance that was at risk of running up your energy bills more than you might expect was the Hisense RB327N4WW1 fridge freezer. This retails for around £399 but Which? found it would cost £113.12 a year to run when the average running cost for a freestanding model is £81. Which? has tested similar models that cost as little as £40 to run over a year. 

Although priced at an attractive price of £7, the Cookworks Plastic Kettle 825/6344 (in white) and 874/2119 (in black) could cost more than you expected in the long run. The consumer champion found this Argos kettle cost £50.74 a year to run. The average running cost for a kettle is £23. However, Which? has found the most energy-efficient models cost only £8 a year to run.

Another product that scored poorly for its energy efficiency was the Beko DIN15X20 dishwasher. Retailing at £279 this appliance costs £88.89 to run, although the average running cost for a dishwasher is £78. The cheapest full-sized model to run tested by Which? costs around £55 a year to run.

Which? found that the average running cost of a washing machine was £65 a year, but the Hotpoint H8 W946WB (RRP £499) washing machine costs £86.22 to run. Compared to most 9kg-capacity washers, the main cottons 40°C wash uses roughly 35 per cent more energy. Which? found that the cheapest model to run costs £46 a year. 

A television that comes at an affordable price tag is the Samsung UE43CU8000. However, despite retailing at around £369, this television costs £29.57 to run a year, more than the £24.82 average yearly running cost for a 43-inch TV. The most efficient TVs can cost less than £12 to run over the year. 

Says Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services: 

“When buying a new household appliance, don’t be fooled by a low price point as this can mask bigger costs in the long run. 

“Which?’s robust testing goes further by including energy efficiency ratings so customers have a much clearer idea of the true cost of the product they’re buying.

“When looking to buy a new appliance you can check the Which? website for our recommended Eco Buys and tips on how to cut your energy costs generally.”

Table of results

Prices from November 2023, based on the products live on our website at the time of publication. Running costs assume an electricity cost of 27.35p per kWh.


Annual running cost

Lowest running costs


Average running cost

Retail price

Hoover-hlev10lg tumble vented  dryer






Hisense RB327N4WW1 Fridge freezer






Cookworks Plastic Kettle 825/6344 (in white)

874/2119 (in black)






Beko DIN15X20 dishwasher






Hotpoint H8 W946WB washing machine






Samsung-nv7b41307as built in oven






Samsung UE43CU8000 television






Dimplex 3kW Rugged Fan Heater

83p per hour

9p per hour


55p per hour


Right of replies:


Adam Norris, Senior Product Manager Cleaning for Beko said: “At Beko we pride ourselves on providing affordable, energy-efficient dishwashers at a range of price points to ensure we meet consumer demand. As a business we made the decision to discontinue any F-rated appliances and upweight our A, B and C-rated appliances, demonstrating our commitment to energy efficiency and cost-savings for our customers. There are many independent statistics that show dishwashers (whether A or E-rated) can save both water and energy versus handwashing, so we would never want to discourage consumers from looking into owning a dishwasher, as longer term it will support overall household energy savings.”


A spokesperson for Hisense commented: “Hisense is committed to bringing new products to market that are energy efficient, to ensure that consumer’s bills are as low as possible, and this is reflected across our appliance ranges.

“The RB327N4WW1 referenced is one of our older models which launched back in 2019 and the figure quoted by Which? is higher than the running costs for this model stated elsewhere. Given the new EU regulations, all F-rated products are being removed from the market, and this will be replaced with the E Rated RB327N4WWE.”


Whirlpool declined commenting on Which?’s findings in relation to the Hotpoint H8 W946WB washing machine.

Argos, Dimplex, Hoover and Samsung did not respond.

Chris Price
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