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 does it cost to run a kettle?

Women pouring water from kettle into a white mug
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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

We reach for the kettle to make a cuppa without giving it a second thought, especially while we’re working from home, but now that energy prices have risen, it’s an idea to keep track of how many times you're flicking that boil switch.  

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

How much it costs to run a kettle? We've crunched the numbers so you don't have to.


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,” says a spokesperson from kettle brand, Russell Hobbs. 

An average 3kw kettle runs for around 45 seconds to make a cup of tea. Under the Energy Price Guarantee unit rate of 0.34p per kWh that came into effect from 1 October, here’s how much it costs to run a kettle, according to Uswitch:

  • It costs 1.56p to boil 300ml of water (a large mug full)
  • It costs 7.8p to boil a full kettle of water (1.5L)

So if you were to boil the kettle for two cups of tea everyday, that would cost you around 22p a week, under the assumption that you only boil enough water for a full cup (300ml), and not a full kettle. 

Around three quarters of people boil the kettle with more water in than they really need according to a government study

Uswitch emphasises if you only boil the water you need rather than overfilling it, you could save £11 a year on your energy bills. 

Justina Miltienyte, head of policy at, said: “Although the savings you make by filling your kettle up with just enough water for each drink only represent a few pence, this all adds up over the course of a year.”

This advice is also being echoed on social media:  

See more

We also put some money-saving TikTok kettle tricks to the test to see if they actually work. 

It’s worth knowing how much it costs to boil larger quantities of water, for example when boiling the kettle for cooking 

Our sister site, Ideal Home, calculates that it costs 10.4p to boil a 3kW full kettle and 1.7L, as it takes around 4 minutes to boil. 


Boiling water on the hob can be cheaper than boiling water in an electric kettle if you own a gas hob, because gas is cheaper than electricity, at 0.10p per kWh, according to Ofgem

Of course, if you have an electric hob, the cost of boiling water in a pan on the hob will be pretty much the same as using an electric kettle.  


Unplug the kettle. When you’re not using the kettle, switch it off by the plug and unplug it to save on your energy bill, even if it is just a small amount. When you leave the kettle plugged in, it still uses a small amount of energy. 

Descale the kettle. When limescale builds up in the kettle, it doesn’t work as effectively which means it will take more energy to heat properly. It’s advised to descale your kettle every four to eight weeks. Thea Whyte, energy expert at said: “Especially for those living in hard water areas, that 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.  

Don’t keep reboiling the kettle. 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.”

If you prefer filling up a full kettle in the morning so that it’s easier to make a quick hot drink, then rather than reboiling it, put it in a thermos so it stays hot. According to Healthy Lunch, a thermos stays hot for at least 6 hours. 

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 check if it has measurements marked so you know how much water you’re filling and to avoid overfilling it. Also notice the minimum fill amount of the kettle, as some kettles have a decent one, whereas others go quite high, resulting in you overfilling the kettle for one cup of tea. “Most Russell Hobbs kettles have a handy rapid boil widget which shows how much water is needed for 1/2/3 cups,” the spokesperson from Russel Hobbs adds.  

Only boil what you need. As mentioned, you can cut costs just by boiling what you need rather than a full kettle. 

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Vaishali Varu
Staff Writer

Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University. She has gained experience writing local stories around Leeds and Leicester, which includes writing for a university publication and Leicester Mercury. 

She has also done some marketing and copywriting for businesses.

When she is not writing about personal finance, Vaishali likes to travel and she's a foodie.