How much does it cost to run a kettle?

Whether you want to use the kettle for a hot drink or cooking, you might be asking yourself how much it costs to run a kettle.

Energy bills are still high, so if you’re trying to budget and keep energy costs low, then it’s worthwhile knowing how much it costs to run a kettle.

We look at what your beloved kettle is costing you, how much you are paying to make your favourite brew and, of course, how to save money when boiling water.

We’ve crunched the numbers so you don’t have to.

How much does it cost to run a kettle?

How much a kettle costs to run will depend on a variety of things such as what kettle you’re using and your electricity tariff. 

An average 3kw kettle runs for around 45 seconds to make a cup of tea. Under the average energy price cap unit rate of around 30.11p per kWh that came into effect on 1 July, here’s how much it costs to run a kettle.

  • It costs 1.1p to boil 300ml of water (a large mug)
  • It costs 5.6p to boil a full kettle of water (1.5L)

So if you were to boil the kettle for two cups of tea every day, that would cost you about 15.7p a week. But this works only if you boil enough water for a single cup (300ml), and not the whole kettle. 

Gary Caffell, editor-in-chief at Look After My Bills, said: “If you are overfilling the kettle you are wasting energy and cash, so make sure you only fill it to the level you need. It may only be a couple of pence difference, but it all adds up – particularly if you are especially fond of a cuppa.”

You could save about £12 a year on your energy bills by only boiling the water you need in your kettle, according to Energy Saving Trust.

Is it cheaper to boil water on the hob or in a kettle?

Using a gas hob to boil water is more cost-effective than an electric kettle, as gas is cheaper than electricity. 

Of course, if you have an electric hob, the cost of boiling water ends up being pretty much the same as using an electric kettle.

How can I cut costs when boiling a kettle?

Unplug the kettle. To save on your energy bill, remember to switch off and unplug your kettle when not in use. Even in standby mode, it still consumes a small amount of energy. 

Descale the kettle. Limescale buildup in your kettle reduces its efficiency, making it use more energy to heat properly. You should descale your kettle every four to eight weeks. 

Thea Whyte, energy expert at said: “Especially for those living in hard water areas, simply descaling your kettle more regularly will help reduce build-up and therefore, boiling time.

“This can be achieved either by purchasing a dedicated descaler product or for a more cost-effective solution, simply by using a homemade mixture of half white vinegar and half water or a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with two cups of water. 

“Leave the mixture in the kettle for at least half an hour (ideally overnight), and then empty it and boil a full kettle of fresh water before emptying it again. You can use a dry cloth to wipe down the inside and remove any remaining traces of limescale.”

Does your kettle have a removable filter? If it does, it’s a good and easy way to ensure the kettle is working to its full potential.  

Avoid reboiling. A spokesperson from Russell Hobbs says: “If you’ve left the kettle for a few minutes after it’s switched off, it’s probably still hot enough to make tea – even after several minutes, as everyday breakfast tea is best brewed anywhere between 90 and 98°C. So don’t flick that switch to re-boil two minutes later.”

Use a thermos. If you prefer boiling a full kettle in the morning and reusing it throughout the day for hot drinks, consider pouring it into a thermos after your first cup. A thermos can maintain heat for at least six hours, according to Healthy Lunch

If you’ve boiled too much water, use the excess to fill a hot water bottle to save energy on heating. But make sure you do not pour boiling water, it is advised to let the water cool a little. 

Look out for energy-cutting features. When buying a new kettle, keep an eye out for energy-saving features. Look for models with clear measurements marked so you know how much water you’re filling and avoid overdoing it. 

Also notice the minimum fill amount of the kettle. Some models have a higher minimum fill, which may lead to overfilling for just one cup of tea. 

A spokesperson from Russell Hobbs suggests, “Most Russell Hobbs kettles have a handy rapid boil widget which shows how much water is needed for 1/2/3 cups.”

Only boil what you need. This simple decision can save you money compared to boiling a full kettle. 

Making small changes in how you use your kettle can lead to significant energy and cost savings over time. These small practices can make a positive impact on both your pockets and the environment, and contribute to a more sustainable household.