How Your Laundry Can Impact Your Energy Bills

In a world full of smart meters, numerous comparison sites and yearly energy price cap announcements, finding ways to save on your energy bill – as well as bills in general – is likely to be at the forefront of many people’s minds. 

Keeping an eye on your energy usage won’t just help with day-to-day costs, it can also be considered as part of a combined effort to make the planet cleaner and greener. So it can pay to have a look around your home and make small changes to your daily routine which will help you save money and also reduce your carbon footprint.

The average household in Britain is full of powered devices, from kettles and fridges to TVs and computers – and they all cost money to run. One of the biggest energy consumers of the lot is the ever essential washing machine – using up electricity, heating and water in an effort to get your clothes fresh and clean for the week ahead.

Washing machines: then and now

Washing machines in particular have come a long way in the last few decades when it comes to efficiencies. Advancements in technology and science mean they’re suitable for a wider range of clothes, capable of washing at lower temperatures, and they consume energy much more effectively than models that were available in previous decades.

In fact, in the 1990’s a 5kg wash at 90 degrees previously used an average of over 2kWh of energy. While laundry habits vary massively across households, this was a cost that could easily stack up – particularly for homes doing more than two or three laundry loads a week.

Now, energy efficiency ratings come with every appliance which has encouraged manufacturers to make energy saving a key part of their product and offering people cleaner and greener solutions.

As a result, the modern domestic washing machine in Britain is up to 30% more efficient than what you’d find in the 1990s – helping to bring down energy costs for millions of households and helping to reduce Britain’s carbon footprint. 

It is therefore important to know that energy efficiency ratings can help you choose the best washing machine model that will give you a better chance of saving money and reducing your household’s energy consumption. A newer and more modern washing machine with a high efficiency rating can give you up to 65% savings on your monthly energy bill, and they can use up to 3x less water. Trusted consumer site Which does a great job of rounding up the best models around at the moment and provide energy ratings too.

How people do their laundry

Despite this, your washing machine still uses plenty of energy and water. It’s a fact that around 22% of the UKs overall carbon emissions are produced from within our households. Doing the laundry goes a long way in helping generate these figures as the process always requires doing energy sapping things like:

  • Heating the water
  • Powering the machines
  • Utilising fresh water

Research by the Energy Savings Trust shows that there are numerous ways we can all improve on our laundry habits and in turn save more energy and more money on our bills.

Brits are said to be spending twice as much energy as they need to when they are doing their laundry – with many households still washing their clothes at 40 degrees.

Many of us believe that cleaning at 40 degrees or more helps to get the best cleaning results but this is not the case and it’s not necessary to use your washing machines auto settings, a few simple adjustments can really go a long way. For example, simply reducing this to 30 or even 20 degrees can help to cut your energy consumption by as much as 57% per cycle which can in turn help to reduce your energy use and lighten your monthly bills.

Related: Best Energy Monitors For 2021

How else can I save money on my laundry?

There are many other things you can do to reduce your laundry energy costs at home, find some of our top tips below:

  • Loading your machine correctly

Running a half load in your washing machine will use more energy and water than required to wash that amount of clothes – it’s always better to fill your machine to maximum capacity when you do a load. 

However, this doesn’t mean cramming it full – most washing machines will have a fill line that leaves some space in the drum, this leaves enough room for water and detergent to circulate during the washing cycle, so they can clean your clothes properly. Using the right amount of detergent is also important too – adding too much can clog your machine and prevent it from running properly so make sure you read the guidelines on your chosen detergent.

  • Clean your machine’s filter

Cleaning your washing machine’s filter at least once a month keeps it running smoothly, but letting it get clogged up can lead to inefficient washing as well as odour build up. Running an empty wash on a high temperature once a month can be a good way to get the most efficient cleans.

  • Emptying your pockets

Leaving things like tissues and pens in your pockets increase the risk of things getting caught in your machine’s drain pump, which can potentially cause a lot of damage. Make sure you check all pockets thoroughly before you put your laundry load in the machine.

  • Follow the care instructions

Following the instructions on your clothes’ care labels will always go a long to way to help to extend their life and ensure that they’re cleaned properly. This also helps to reduce the chances of you having to re-wash and use more energy than you need to.

  • Use your machine’s eco-friendly settings

If you use your washing machine’s default settings the chances are it’s not running as efficiently as it could. Try and use the most economical settings available to reduce your energy usage, read the guide that came with it when you first bought it for the best guidance as some machines can be different.

  • Ensuring you switch everything off 

It might be an obvious one, but it’s easy to forget to switch off your washing machine once you’ve finished using it. Lots of energy is wasted every year when people forget to switch off their washers and dryers once they have finished using them. Save money and energy today by making sure you switch everything off once you are done doing the laundry, your wallet will thank you.

  • Spin your clothes thoroughly

If you are lucky to own a tumble dryer, make sure you’ve done a thorough spin in the washing machine to drain as much moisture as possible beforehand. This will help to dry your clothes quicker and therefore use much less energy. The less moisture the quicker your clothes will dry so its pays to look out for the best spin features when choosing a washing machine.

  • Hang dry your clothes

If weather and space permit the better option is always to hang dry your clothes. It will take longer, and you might not get that warm toasty finish that you get with tumble dryers but they can use an incredible amount of electricity to get your clothes dry when hanging them out can save so much money by comparison.

  • Keep an eye on things

Use this opportunity to also pay much closer attention to your energy consumption, both in terms of your laundry and overall around the home. Nowadays, devices like smart meters or plug in energy usage meters can give you a good idea of how much energy you use at home in real time, helping you to then make the right and environmentally friendly decisions when it comes doing everyday things like the laundry.

These are just some of the areas in which small changes to your laundry habits can make a big difference on your energy bill and overall carbon footprint.

Comparing energy deals helps you save £££

Of course it helps to ensure that you are paying the best energy rates possible in the first place in order to make the maximum savings when doing day to day activities like the laundry and ironing. Comparing energy deals online is a quick and simple way to find the best available tariff for you and your family. It’s the easiest way to get cheaper gas and electricity, so you can make sure the overall cost of running your washing machine and ironing goes down.

All you need to do is give a few details about yourself and your estimated energy usage, and you’ll then be able to compare the best tariffs from providers across the market.

1 Stop Wash is a prime beneficiary of these types of price comparison services – an eco friendly dry cleaners based in Central London, they’ve benefitted from switching energy providers through the tried and trusted energy comparison site like ours. But this is just one of the things they do to keep their laundry and dry cleaning business green, clean and affordable.

Is using a laundry business like 1 Stop Wash better than doing the laundry at home?

The UK laundry and dry cleaning sector is important for many reasons, employing tens of thousands of people and supplying countless industries including restaurants, gyms, hotels and spas with linen services. It’s therefore important for laundry and dry cleaning businesses to always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cutting energy costs and reducing their carbon footprint.

Whilst the vast majority of us do the laundry at home, the content of this post makes it clear that we can do more when it comes to reducing our own households carbon emissions. Using professional laundry services might not be a bad way to go in order to do so.

1 Stop Wash for example continually review their environmental efforts and invest significantly into the technology they use in order to remain as energy efficient as possible. Since the business began in 2011, the business has spent over £150k on its machinery and staff training in order to provide the most eco friendly laundry and dry cleaning service in London.

Long time leading member of the Guild of Cleaners and Launderers (GCL), Ken Cupitt recently mentioned that ‘professional laundering is far more economic in its operation than when done in a domestic situation’ and noted how businesses like 1 Stop Wash further demonstrate their eco friendly attributes as their expertise help to ‘prolong the life of textiles’ which undoubtedly helps build a greener economy, reducing the amount of textiles that reach landfills.

Seeing that doing the laundry is an essential part of every household up and down Britain, it pays to

  • Keep an eye on your habits when doing so using the tips in this post
  • Find the best energy deals on the market using useful tools like

Not only do you make savings on your monthly energy bills but you will also make sure that you are not having an unnecessarily detrimental impact on the environment.