Energy Local The Guide 4 – tips for washing & drying – EN

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The guide -4

Tips for your washing machine and tumble dryer

Your washing machine and tumble dryer could cost you close to £100 a year to run on a standard electricity tariff. But by using your share of the local electricity and running them more efficiently you could cut that amount in half.

A Story of Savings…

The Hughes family have just moved into a new house and are shopping for a washing machine.  Looking at the energy ratings they found an A+ model for the same price as some of the lower rated versions – which will use around half of the energy of their old model, saving £15 a year.

They’ve got a young daughter and there’s a lot of laundry to get through so they need to run the machine three times a week. To keep the costs down they set the machine to wash at 30 degrees and wait until they have enough laundry to fill the machine before setting it off.

After joining their Energy Local Club they started getting as much of their laundry done at the weekends when they could run the machine in the middle of the day, increasing the chances of their electricity use being matched to the local generation or on an off-peak tariff.

They’d noticed in their old house their electricity bills would go up in the winter when they were using the tumble dryer more. Now, unless there’s a rush, they dry the clothes on a rack in the conservatory. When summer comes they hang the clothes outside.

As a final energy saving effort they put a note on the tumble dryer to remind them to clean the filter before they use it.

Summary of our tips…

Tumble dryers cost around £58 a year to run on an average UK electricity tariff of 14p/kWh. If you run your dryer with electricity matched to your share of the local electrcity at (for example 8.5p/kWh) you could save around £20 a year.

More ways to save when you dry your clothes are…

  • Only use the tumble dryer if you really need to – dry your clothes outside if you can.
  • If you need to dry clothes inside, don’t hang them directly on top of radiators and make sure the room you use is well ventilated to stop your house getting damp and mouldy.
  • Clean the fluff out of your tumble dryer filter every time you use it.

If you’re buying a new tumble dryer, then get the model with the best energy efficiency rating you can afford. An A+++ model could save you over £30 a year compared to a B rated model.

Washing machines cost around £28 a year to run on an average UK electricity tariff of 14p/kWh. If you ran your machine with electricity matched to your share of the hydro (at for example 8.5p/kWh) you could save around £12 a year.

More ways to save when you use your washing machine are…

  • Set your machine to wash at 30 degrees. Modern laundry detergents are designed to work at this temperature.
  • If your model has an eco-setting then use that. See here for Mary Gillie’s trial of using the eco setting on her machine.
  • Only run the washing machine with full loads. Two half loads use more water, detergent and electricity than one full load.
  • If you’re buying a new washing machine, then try to get the model with the best energy efficiency rating – the most efficient models don’t always cost more and if you upgrade from a grade B to a A+++ then you’ll save over £15 a year.