Be honest; how often do you turn things off standby? Sometimes it can feel like those pesky red lights serve no other purpose other than to tease you into getting out of your comfy bed only to switch off a socket. Fortunately, standby lights do remind us of the wider problem with continual energy use: financial costs.
With the recent energy crisis and increase in cost of living, a lot of us are beginning to look at how else we can cut back our spending to save a few pennies. By far one of the greatest hidden contributors to our energy costs is experienced overnight; phone chargers, fans, and smart speakers are all awake while we drift off.
So, how much does this cost? To understand the true cost of a good night’s sleep, we surveyed over 3,000 British residents to learn more about how much we spend overnight.
As part of our survey, we asked the British public which appliances and devices they leave on overnight. It quickly became apparent that three main devices were used the most: phone chargers (57.84%), fans (36.95%), and speakers (22.94%).
This revealed we like to be cool, respond well to being lulled to sleep, and love convenience, giving us three main expenditures to focus on.
Phone chargers were by far the most commonly used device overnight, with just under 58% of respondents admitting to leaving their phones charge while they sleep. To get a better understanding of just how much this costs, we reviewed the average charging costs for the top 5 most popular phones of 2021.
According to a 2012 study at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, on average, an idle charger draws 0.26 watts. This figure goes up to 3.68 watts when a phone is attached and charging, and drops down to 2.24 watts when the phone is attached and fully charged.
The type of phone didn’t make too much of a difference. Whether iPhone or Samsung Android, the study found devices have an average charging time of around 1.6 hours at 3.68 watts.
Thankfully, phone charging technology has become much more advanced in recent years, with many devices having measures in place to prevent overcharging. Once these phones are charged, they then spend around 6.3 hours at 2.24 watts on standby while still being plugged in.
When looking at the costs, this all works out to around 1p a night, 17p a month, and £2.01 a year based on the UK’s average energy rates.
Although it might not seem like it, fans do come with some surprising overnight charges – especially if you run them all night during the summer months. When looking at costs, we reviewed the average power consumption of the world’s bestselling fans. A small fan measuring between 4 and 6.9 inches takes 28.5 watts; a medium-sized fan between 7 and 9.9 inches uses just under twice as much at 52.7 watts, and a large fan of over 10 inches takes 44.3 watts.
By applying our formula, we were able to determine the following costs for each type of fan:
|Small Fan||Medium Fan||Large Fan|
|4 to 6.9 inches ||7 to 9.9 inches||Over 10 inches|
|0.06p per night||11p per night||10p per night|
|£1.88 per month||£3.48 per month||£2.92 per month|
|£22.55 per year||£41.70 per year ||£35.06 per year|
Speakers came in as our third most popular device for overnight use, with just under 23% of UK respondents using them to listen to music and/or white noise overnight.
To get a better idea of the financial costs involved with this, we looked up the average power consumption of a generic Bluetooth speaker, an Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation, and a Google Nest.
This gave us the following costs:
|Bluetooth Speaker||Echo Dot 3rd Generation||Google Nest|
|10 watts ||6 watts||3.5 watts|
|0.02p per night||0.01p per night||0.01p per night|
|66p per month||40p per month||23p per month|
|£7.91 per year||£4.75 per year ||£2.77 per year|
So, we know how much it costs to leave a fan on, a phone charging and music playing overnight, but how do the costs add up?
We are able to determine that, based on the costs of running a phone charger, fan and speaker for 8 hours a night throughout the summer months of June to August alone, the average UK individual spends £16.25 a year while they sleep.
This works out to £1.35 a month or 0.04p per night. By cross-referencing this information with our survey data and the current UK population, we see that the UK is spending roughly £766,220,897.55 on getting a good night’s sleep every year.
Alongside this data, we opened up our research on energy rates in general. As indicated by our survey, 36.98% of our respondents claimed to be ‘very worried’ by the rising energy costs, despite 51.96% of them admitting to leaving devices on standby.
This got us thinking about where in the UK energy is most expensive. Based on the costs of charging a phone, using a fan and listening to music overnight, the top 5 most expensive regions in the UK are as follows:
- London – £17
- North Wales and Merseyside – £17
- South East – £16.94
- Eastern – £16.77
- Southern – £16.37
With these numbers, we can see that London residents are spending the most on their night’s sleep at £17 per year, while the North Eastern population is spending the least at just £15.57.
If you’re struggling to sleep, it could be time to invest in your bedroom. At Mattressman, we stock everything from comfy pillows to memory foam mattresses, perfectly designed to get you drifting off.
Browse today and start improving your sleep, tonight.