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New EU Energy labels promote less efficient washing machines!

Energy labels for washing machines are now displaying average electricity consumed per year based on 220 cycles, regardless of the capacity of the machine. This means we get the absurd situation of the energy label on an A rated 6kg machine saying it uses less energy per year, than a more efficient A+++ 12kg machine – which does double the amount of washing!

Larger capacity washing machines can use more electricity per cycle, however, if you regularly have large loads of washing they are far more efficient per unit of electricity consumed – as they save on the number of loads.

One example is the A rated John Lewis JLWM1404 6kg washing machine, which according to the energy label uses 204 kWh (GBP 29.15) per year.

Compared this the 12kg A+++ Samsung WF1124XAC with an annual consumption of 258 kWh (GBP 36.87) per year, this implies that the A+++ machine is less efficient as it uses more power, even though it does twice as much washing. By ignoring the energy labels an average family could save 110 wash cycles per year.

Ross from Sust-it said, “The most economic and environmentally friendly option for the average family is buy a large drummed washing machine, as you’ll do far more washing per unit of electricity. Lots of manufacturers are now focusing on larger capacity machines, due to their energy saving credentials. It seems crazy that Energy Labels aren’t reflecting this change and are displaying confusing information; the other side effect of this change is that you can’t compare machines which were tested before the new labelling system was introduced”

Sust-it’s energy usage calculations are based on average amounts of washing; therefore larger machines tend to be more energy efficient per kg of washing done. With half load options and some with the technology to adjust the water and energy consumption according to the weight of washing, a large capacity machine is appealing if getting all the family’s towels and jeans done in one go is a priority. If consumers buy a large drummed machine, and use them correctly, major savings can be made!


About Sust-it

Sust-it’s energy efficiency website ranks electricals by their energy usage and CO2 emissions. It does this through its unique calculations of average usage, combined with carefully researched energy usage data published by manufacturers. The site is constantly updated and contains a wide range of products from TVs to chest freezers.

You can compare electricity tariffs and calculate your CO2 emissions at the same time. The electricity unit rates used to calculate the costs per hour/cycle/year are based on the BIS (Department for Business Innovation & skills) Quarterly Energy Prices. (UK Average Electricity Tariff of 14.29p per unit) CO2 Calculations taken from National Energy Foundation.

The Sust-it website has been conceived and developed by TurnRound New Media, after it’s proprietor Ross Lammas, became increasingly frustrated by the difficulty in finding the data on the energy consumption of products, whilst he was building an environmentally sustainable office and home. The site is independent from any manufacturers, retailers or energy companies. And does not receive any funding from any Government agencies, trusts or independent charities.

Energy labels

The new EU Energy Labels for washing machines became mandatory in late December 2011. Now displaying A+ A++ A+++ efficiency ratings, these labels also take into account that we are washing across a range of lower temperatures and load sizes, instead of the standard 60º cotton wash cycle.

For further information please contact:
Ross Lammas
Founder Sust-it
Tel. 01242 808071