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The ‘vampire devices’ costing UK households an extra £147 a year

An energy expert has offered some tips on how to cut back on annual electricity costs

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Burst / Unsplash

Households across the UK have been warned about so-called vampire devices adding an average of £147 to annual electricity bills.

According to British Gas, these vampire devices are adding even more money onto the annual electricity bills of millions of UK households, with them reportedly equating to two months’ electricity charges over the year.

This is because so long as they are plugged in, these devices continue to draw a small amount of energy, which eventually adds up over time.

These devices include televisions, laptops, broadband routers and smart speakers.

Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

While it may be convenient to leave the television on standby and wake it up with the remote, it is costing the average household an extra £24.61 per year, Energy UK suggests, plus a further £23.10 a year for a set-top box, such as from Sky or Virgin Media.

Games consoles on standby work out at an average of £12.17, while computers could cost about £11.22.

Other devices that can add up over the year are:

  • Hi-Fi system on standby – £73
  • Sky box on standby – £73
  • Laptop charger – £60
  • TV on standby – £10 to £24
  • Microwave – £16
  • Games consoles – £12
  • Computer – £11
  • Printer on standby – £3 to £10
  • Washing machine – £5
  • Phone charger – £1.26

British Gas energy expert Marc Robson has recommended adding devices to an extension lead that can be switched off in one go at night, or using smart plugs.

Annie Spratt / Unsplash

He explained: “There are smart plugs you can buy which will let you check everything is turned off from your phone.

“At night, or when not in use, try switching off devices at the mains rather than switching to standby, as even the standby light on a television uses energy.

“Try not to overcharge your mobile phone and laptop unnecessarily. As soon as your device is charged, try and get into the habit of unplugging it. Not only will this save energy but it also prolongs battery life.

“A smart meter’s in-home display can help to identify how much energy is used at different times of the day, so you can see where energy is wasted.”

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Boris Johnson was ‘not partying’ in photo of him drinking at ‘party’, Tory MP says

New photos show the Prime Minister raising a glass during an alleged leaving party in November 2020

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has defended Boris Johnson after newly-released photos showed him drinking during an alleged lockdown party.

ITV News published four photos showing the Prime Minister raising a glass with a group of aides around a table littered with alcoholic drinks and party food on November 13th 2020, when the country was in its second national lockdown.

The photos, which were reportedly taken during a leaving party, cast fresh doubt on Johnson’s claims that he was unaware of rule-breaking in Downing Street during the pandemic.

However, a number of Tory MPs have spoken out in defense of Johnson, including Shapps, who insisted that Johnson ‘wasn’t partying’ in the first place.

Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley this morning, Shapps said: “The question is, was he down there partying?

“No, clearly not. He’d gone by to say thanks and to raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving. And, you know, the answer to this of course, is the police have spent a lot of time with a lot of people and a lot of resources… And they’ve come to their conclusion. 

Read More: Sue Gray report set to be ‘published in full next week’ as partygate investigation ends

“As we know, he wasn’t fined for that event.”

The Cabinet minister went on to say that Johnson is ‘completely mortified’ by the publishing of the photos, acknowledging that ‘it shouldn’t have happened’. 

He said: “He [Johnson] has paid the fifty quid fine. That’s the right thing to do. He’s human, and sometimes humans make mistakes.”

Shapps added: “I don’t think the fact of the pictures, us seeing them for the first time, changes what the police and Sue Gray already know.”

Just one week ago, it was announced that Sue Gray’s highly-publicised report into government misconduct during the Covid lockdowns had been completed.

A source close to Gray and her team said she now intends to publish her report ‘as soon as possible’, adding that it could come as early as next week, according to The Independent.

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Gino D’Acampo hits back at ‘haters’ who criticised him for kissing daughter on lips

The celebrity chef came under fire for being ‘too affectionate’ with his eight-year-old daughter Mia

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@iamginodacampo / Instagram

Gino D’Acampo has hit back at ‘all the haters out there’ who criticised him for kissing his daughter on the lips.

The celebrity chef shared two photos of himself and his eight-year-old daughter Mia, one in which the pair shared a kiss and the other showing them laughing candidly together.

Gino captioned the post: “To all the haters out there……yes I still kiss my principessa on the lips, get over it and get a life”.

The famed chef was met with a wave of support from his followers for sharing the post, with his teenage son Rocco also commenting with a series of hearts.

Another fan commented: “Blooming Nora, please tell me this is a joke? My son is 20 and I still kiss and cuddle him!”

While another questioned: “How can anyone say it’s wrong to kiss your child?!?!”

Read More: Gino D’Acampo’s Manchester restaurant to close permanently

Though Gino hasn’t always received this level of praise, with him recently dividing opinions after revealing his daughter gets sent to bed on an empty stomach if she doesn’t eat her dinner.

Appearing on the Sweat, Snot and Tears podcast late last year, Gino said he thinks children become fussy eaters as a result of parents who can’t be bothered to ‘fight’ over meal times.

He said: “When people talk to me about fussy children with food and ask me, ‘What do I think?’ I tell them there is no such a thing as a fussy child. There isn’t.

“But there is a thing of moron parenting. By moron, I mean idiots. A child doesn’t grow up fussy, it’s not possible. It’s the parents.”

Gino also likened his children to training a puppy, saying: “I’m not comparing a dog to a child, for God’s sake, but it’s the same as a when you have a little puppy.

“You only have to tell him off and pretend to smack him a couple of times not to do the wee on the floor. Eventually, he’s not going to do the wee on the floor, he’s going to go outside.”

An interesting perspective…

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Manchester Airport described as ‘hell on earth’ with long queues and waits of up to four hours this morning

The airport has been plagued by lengthy queues and delays for months now

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@AdamThomas442 & @Elwick70 / Twitter

Manchester Airport has been described as ‘hell on earth’ as passengers were forced to queue for up to four hours this morning.

Frustrated travellers shared photos and videos of the carnage on social media, with the airport being described as ‘absolute and complete chaos’. 

Huge queues at check-in desks and security were reported across the morning, as well as long waits for luggage in arrivals.

Passenger Amy McDonald wrote on Twitter: “Never seen anything like it before at Manchester Airport, queued for 2 hours and when our flight was called it was a free for all… hope our bag has made it”.

Mhari Oaks said of her experience this morning: “Hell on earth this morning @manairport – avoid it like the plague!!!

“Everyone missing flights despite getting there 3 hours before departure. Absolute and complete chaos. No check in staff.”

Read More: Andy Burnham warns queues and disruption at Manchester Airport will continue for ‘two months’

Marion Wolstenholme described customers as being ‘upset, anxious and frustrated’, writing: “Chaos @manairport this morning.

“Almost 2 hours queuing to drop of case and still no end in sight. Really really poor – No organisation, no communication.”

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham previously warned that the lengthy queues and delays – said to be a result of staff shortages and increased passenger demand – will continue for the ‘foreseeable future’.

Following a meeting with airport bosses last month, Burnham said that while the airport has made efforts to recruit, ‘more should have been done earlier’, and that its communication to passengers ahead of and upon arrival should have been better, as should the management of the queues.

At this, Burnham offered three pieces of advice to passengers planning on travelling from the airport in the next few months:

  • Arrive at the airport three hours before your flight.
  • Check your baggage into the hold in advance if possible.
  • If you have to carry hand luggage please try to minimise it and ensure it is correctly packed before you leave home.

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