Taking a look at your household bills on a regular basis is always sensible since you never want to be paying more for your energy than you should. The cost of running your washing machine involves a number of factors, but it’s one area in which you could lower your bills significantly.
All appliances now come with an energy rating, but with many appliances – including washing machines – few now come with a rating lower than a C. In fact, most washing machines are now rated A+, A++ or A+++ since standards have improved over the years.
What do energy ratings mean?
The energy efficiency label was introduced in 2010 as part of an EU directive, with the labels updated in 2012. There are several things this takes into account, including temperatures and load levels and gives a rating based on energy used per cycle; the better the rating, the more efficient the machine is deemed to be.
There is, however, an argument that in pursuing higher ratings only yields smaller savings now, as efficiency can only be pushed so far. There is little to say that an A+++ will save you much for than £20 over a year than an A++ appliance (when using the same settings and usage levels).
How can I work out how much my washing machine costs to run?
It’s sensible to work out how much your appliances cost you to run, as you can then decide whether it’s time to upgrade them or not. When calculating how much your washing machine costs to run, you’ll need to know how much energy is consumed on an average cycle.
This dictated by the annual kilowatt hour number from the label, multiplied by the cost of your energy providers kilowatt hour charge. This will give you a rough figure to work with when comparing appliance makes and models.
Can I reduce the cost of using my washing machine?
While the energy efficiency label can give you a good indication of what a new washing machine will cost in bills, there are things you can do to improve the efficiency of how you use the appliance.
- Try opting for a shorter cycle to minimise how much water you use – especially crucial if you are on a water meter.
- Use a cooler temperature if you are only giving clothes a freshen, higher temperatures can be reserved for soiled or stained clothes, thereby reducing how much energy is used.
- Gather up a full load of washing to lower the number of small washes you have, this will save on both water and energy costs.
- If you rely on your tumble dryer, try using a higher spin cycle to see if the cost of using the tumble dryer then falls – this depends on the efficiency of the two appliances you have.
- If you want to get truly frugal, try to buy the same clothing materials and colours so that you aren’t making small washes for things you only have a few of.
- Invest in a good stain remover so that, once applied and put through the wash, you don’t have to repeat the process and wastewater and energy.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your washing machine to make your home more energy efficient and lower your bills, take a look at our dedicated buying guide for washing machines. This will give you all the information you need to make the right choice on your next appliance.