It is becoming more and more important that everyone does what they can to be eco-friendly and reduce unnecessary waste, chemical, water and energy usage.
Looking after the environment is a huge factor and is of great importance, but on a personal level, energy prices are rising, and we all want to save as much as we can on our household bills.
How Much Does a Washing Machine Cost to Run?
The running costs have to be a crucial consideration when it comes to purchasing any new appliance, especially as bills and the cost of living are increasing. Fortunately, however, home appliances are getting increasingly more economical, which can make a difference to energy bills.
The exact cost of running a washing machine will vary depending on the load, the cycle’s settings and the energy rating of the washing machine.
For these examples below, we are using Ofgem’s data that quotes the average electricity price per kWh unit is 28p in 2022, up from 19p in 2021. We have also used a 9 kg washing machine in these examples.
On average, the typical D-rated 9 kg washing machine will use 0.76 kWh per cycle, equating to approximately 21.2 pence per cycle. On the other hand, an A-rated washing machine will use around 0.49 kWh per cycle, giving a cost of just 13.72 pence per cycle.
Over the course of a year (approximately 270 washes), the D-rated washing machine will cost around £57.46 in electricity, and the A-rated machine will cost around £37.04 in electricity.
By washing on cooler temperatures and making the most of each cycle, you can cut these costs even further.
The upfront cost of a washing machine can vary greatly depending on the brand you opt for and any modern features it may or may not possess.
Washing machines that are more efficient do tend to be more expensive, but it is always worth doing your research – there’s no point spending hundreds of pounds extra on a more efficient washing machine if it is only going to save you £10 a year on your electricity bill.
You also need to remember that the washing machine that is cheapest upfront might not be the best option.
Cheaper options may not have good warranties, and if something goes wrong, you may be left out of pocket.
Where you can, try to buy appliances such as washing machines from reputable manufacturers that offer good warranty periods and technical support.
The Most Energy Efficient Washing Machines in the UK
To decide on our top washing machine picks, we have focused on the annual energy consumption of the appliance.
1. AEG Softwater Technology L9FEC966R Washing Machine
Annual energy consumption: 76 kWh
Estimated annual energy cost: £21.84
Capacity: 9 kg
AEG pride themselves on quality and innovative features, and that is certainly true with their L9FEC966R washing machine. The machine has a handy 9 kg drum, so is the perfect choice for medium-sized households.
Hard water is a real problem in many areas of the country, and this washing machine’s SoftWater technology removes these impurities from the water, allowing detergent to work more efficiently. Another fancy feature of this AEG washing machine is the ÖKOMix Technology – this mixes together the perfect combination of water, detergent and fabric softener to thoroughly clean every fibre of every item of clothing.
Unfortunately, these features don’t come cheap. This AEG washing machine might be efficient to run, but in terms of upfront cost, it does sit in a high price bracket.
2. AEG L8FEE965R Freestanding Washing Machine
Like the previous AEG washing machine, the L8FEE965R freestanding washing machine is packed full of features and offers truly excellent performance. This washing machine has a 9kg drum capacity that is ideal for medium-sized households or growing families, and can run a mixed washing load in as little as 59 minutes.
This AEG washing machine has been set up for energy efficiency – even at low temperatures you can achieve incredible cleaning results, without needing to add extra detergent. Again, though, this AEG machine sits in a higher price bracket than other machines on this list, and it may not be an affordable option for everyone.
3. LG TrueSteam™ FH4G1BCS2 12Kg Washing Machine
Annual energy consumption: 113 kWh
Estimated annual energy cost: £31.64
Capacity: 12 kg
With a 12 kg capacity, LG’s TrueSteam washing machine is a great choice for larger households. Features such as TurboWash and TrueSteam not only help to provide great cleaning, but reduce wash time whilst also saving energy and water too.
This washing machine has a great A energy rating, making it kind to both your energy bills and the environment. In addition, the Inverter Direct Drive motor uses magnets instead of brushes, making this washing machine quiet enough for open plan living.
If you find odd socks laying around after starting the wash, the LG add item option will be a lifesaver.
The 19 hour delay timer is great for helping you to take advantage of the cheapest energy rates, and you can control the appliance from anywhere using the LG Smart ThinQ app.
Owners find that this washing machine performs very well and has a good range of wash programmes to tackle just about any laundry task; it can even handle a king size quilt.
However, these features and benefits do come at a cost, and that is reflected in the purchase price of this appliance.
4. LG V3 F4V308WNW Washing Machine
Annual energy consumption: 115 kWh
Estimated annual energy cost: £32.20
This LG washing machine sits in a much lower price band than the two previous AEG models. The machine has an 8kg capacity that is plenty for medium-sized households and offers a super-convenient 14-minute quick wash programme.
The sensors in the machine can analyse the type of fabrics that are being washed, adapting the settings to ensure the machine isn’t using unnecessary energy or water. You don’t need to worry if you find a stray sock you’ve dropped either – this LG machine has a “Pause and Add” feature, that allows you to stop a cycle after it’s started to add lost articles.
This washing machine might not be quite as energy efficient in the long term as the AEG models are, but at less than half the upfront cost, it is certainly a strong contender.
5. Haier HW80-B1439N 8Kg Washing Machine
Annual energy consumption: 115 kWh
Estimated annual energy cost: £32.20
Capacity: 8 kg
Haier’s 8 kg washing machine is ideal for medium-sized households. This washing machine has an A energy rating to save you money on your electricity bills, and the speedy 15-minute quick wash programme is perfect for those Sunday night emergencies.
This washing machine has a steam setting that can both be used to knock creases out of shirts, and to kill bacteria, making it ideal for sensitive skin. This same steam boost can even make a world of difference when it comes to dealing with stubborn stains, such as red wine.
The Direct Motion Motor means the washing machine is very quiet when in use, leaving you free to entertain guests or watch TV without distraction.
The washing machine offers 14 different cycles, including a synthetics programme, a wool programme, and a sports programme to name just a few.
Reviewers love just how quiet this washing machine is, and that it has a sleek, modern appearance. This Haier washing machine is easy to use, cheap to run and an ideal addition to the modern household.
6. Samsung ecobubble WW80TA046AX Washing Machine
Annual energy consumption: 116 kWh
Estimated annual energy cost: £32.48
Capacity: 8 kg
Whatever the electrical appliance or device, Samsung have always been market-leaders in technology. This ecobubble washing machine has been designed to be able to tackle stubborn stains, has a steam setting that will remove any bacteria or grime that has built up in the drum, and is delightfully quiet when it is running too.
The ecobubble is only slightly more expensive than the LG model, and still sits in a relatively low price bracket. Samsung, however, back up their washing machine with a five-year warranty, so you do have the extra peace of mind should anything go wrong.
7. Haier i-Pro Series 7 HW80-B14979S 8Kg Washing Machine
Annual energy consumption: 119 kWh
Estimated annual energy cost: £33.32
Capacity: 8 kg
The Haier i-Pro washing machine has a handy 8 kg drum capacity; m0re than enough for the average medium-sized household.
The 24-hour delay timer will help you to take advantage of those cheaper overnight rates, and at just 54 dB (during wash), this washing machine is quiet enough for open-plan living spaces too.
To make maintenance easier, this washing machine has an automatic cleaning system that gets rid of fluff build-up, and that can get rid of as much as 99.8% of bacteria from the inside of the machine.
The quick wash cycle is perfect for school uniform emergencies, and the Refresh function is ideal for just freshening up small loads of lightly soiled clothing.
Users love that this washing machine offers good performance across all 14 programmes, and that it is very quiet during use. It is easy to use, economical and is easy to use.
However, some people do find that the explanations of each of the 14 programmes is lacking, which makes it difficult to get the best out of them.
Is it Worth Getting an Energy Efficient Washing Machine?
There’s no denying that many A-rated energy efficient washing machines are more expensive to purchase than equivalent machines with lower energy ratings.
Whilst we all know that the running cost will be lower in an energy efficient washing machine, the biggest question mark is over how long it would take to see this saving.
A-rated washing machine energy costs
There are a wide range of washing machines now available with A energy ratings on the new scale.
The prices for these range from less than £350 for a basic machine, all the way up to more than £1,500 for fancy washing machines with hundreds of unique features. The average price in this category is £475.
Based on a 9 kg A rated washing machine, such as the Samsung Series 5 ecobubble washing machine, typically uses 130 kWh of electricity over the course of the year (based on 220 cycles).
Based on the current average energy price per unit (28 pence), this works out as an annual cost of £36.40.
B-rated washing machine energy costs
When you shop online, you will find that the vast majority of modern washing machines available either have a B or an A energy rating.
B rated washing machines are usually slightly cheaper than their A rated equivalents, with the prices ranging from less than £250 to just over £1000. The average price in this category is £400.
A typical B rated 9 kg washing machine, such as the Beko WTL94121W, uses an estimated 195 kWh of electricity each year, working out to an annual cost of £54.60.
D-rated washing machine energy cost
D rated washing machines aren’t as common as A or B rated machines, but they are typically quite a lot cheaper to purchase.
The typical price range here will be between £200 and £650, depending on the brand and features that you are looking for. The average purchase price in this category is £275.
Based on a 9 kg washing machine, such as the Hoover H-WASH 300 H3W492DBBE/1, you can expect to use around 218 kWh of electricity per year, making the annual cost £61.04.
Energy cost comparison
Based on the figures above, you can expect to pay around £475 for an A-rated washing machine which will then have an annual energy cost of £36.40.
By comparison, a D-rated washing machine will cost you around £275 up front, and will cost you around £61.04 a year in electricity costs.
That means that the A-rated washing machine will cost you around £200 more up front, but will save you around £25 a year on your electricity bill. That means that if you keep the same machine, you will have made your money back in 8 years.
Do Washing Machines Use a Lot of Electricity Compared to Other Appliances?
The exact amount of energy an appliance will use over the course of a year will depend on not only the type of appliance, but the energy rating, how much power it uses and how often you use it.
For most people, running a washing machine will cost less in electricity bills than running a tumble dryer, dishwasher or oven.
Average washing machine energy usage
Based on an A-rated washing machine, you can expect to use 130 kWh of electricity over the course of 220 cycles. This works out to an annual cost of £36.40, and a cost per cycle of just 16 pence.
Average tumble dryer energy usage
Exactly how much a tumble dryer will cost to run will depend on the type of dryer that you are using. The types of tumble dryer are condenser, vented and heat pump.
A typical 8 kg condenser tumble dryer can use as much as 561 kWh of electricity over the course of a year, totalling £157.08 in energy costs. This works out to be around 71 pence per cycle.
Vented tumble dryers are easily the least energy efficient choice on the market, with the typical vented tumble dryer using as much as 636 kWh a year. This totals £178.08 per year, or 81 pence per cycle.
By comparison, a heat pump tumble dryer can use as little as 176.8 kWh of electricity annually, giving a total cost of £49.51, or 22 pence per cycle.
Average dishwasher energy usage
A typical dishwasher with a C energy rating uses approximately 0.75 kWh of energy per cycle, totalling 161.25 kWh of electricity over the course of a year (average of 215 cycles per year). This totals an annual energy cost of £45.15, and an average cost of 21 pence per cycle.
Average oven energy usage
The running cost of an oven will depend on the fuel source it uses, the size, and a whole host of other factors. Based on an A-rated electric oven, you can expect to use around 0.79 kWh per hour, which works out to be around 22 pence. Over the course of a year, your oven could easily use 328 kWh of electricity (based on eight hours of usage a week), totalling £92.02.
How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Washing Machine
Choosing a new washing machine with the aim of saving money on your energy bills doesn’t need to be a complicated process. You can make a good choice by carefully checking the appliance’s energy label, the drum size, and the spin speed.
Checking the energy efficiency label is a sure-fire way to quickly compare how energy efficient a washing machine is compared to its competitors. The system changed in March 2021 and got rid of all the pluses, opting instead for a simpler G (least efficient) through to A (most efficient) rating system.
A washing machine with an A rating will use much less energy than a comparable washing machine of the same size and with similar specifications that has a D rating.
When it comes to choosing a new machine, it is crucial that you seriously consider the size of the drum.
If you purchase an 11 kg washing machine but typically only wash 7 kg loads and can’t reasonably fill an 11 kg machine, this will end up costing you more in the long run.
Most small households will be absolutely fine with a washing machine with a drum smaller than 6 kg, medium households will benefit from a 7 to 9 kg drum, and larger households should look at 10 kg and over.
When it comes to drying clothing, choosing a washing machine with a higher spin speed can save you money. As this will drain more of the water out of the laundry, it will not cost you as much to dry the clothes in a tumble dryer after.
What’s the Difference Between A and B Energy Ratings on a Washing Machine?
The energy rating scale runs from A to G, with A being the most efficient, and G being the least efficient. This means that in short, a washing machine with an A energy rating is more efficient than a comparable washing machine with a B energy rating.
How is a washing machine’s energy rating calculated?
As different types of appliances work differently, the method for calculating an energy rating will vary. For washing machines, this is calculated as being the amount of energy that the machine would use, in kilowatt hours, across 100 cycles.
The energy usage is calculated on energy consumption during what is known as an Eco 40-60 Wash. This wash cycle is the most efficient in terms of water and energy usage, and is perfect for cleaning regularly soiled fabrics like linen, cotton or mixed fibres.
The average A rated 9 kg washing machine can use as little as 0.59 kWh of electricity per cycle. By comparison, the average B rated 9 kg washing machine can use as much as 0.89 kWh of electricity per cycle.
Based on the current average electricity price per unit of 28 pence, this works out that an A rated machine would cost you 17 pence per cycle, and the B rated washing machine would cost you 25 pence per cycle.
Over the course of the 100 washes used to calculate the energy rating, the A rated washing machine would cost you £17 to run, and the B rated washing machine would cost £25 to run.
Over the course of a year, most households will use the washing machine approximately 220 times, which works out as an average of 4 or 5 times a week.
In a year, the A rated machine would cost £37.40 to run, and a B rated machine would cost as much as £55 to run, meaning the A rated machine could save you £17.60 a year on your energy bills.
The extra energy efficiency of an A rated washing machine does come at a cost. If you are looking to purchase an A rated washing machine, you can expect to pay £350 for a basic machine, or as much as £1,500 for a top-of-the-range, fancy washing machine. The average price typically works out to be £475.
B rated washing machines are considerably cheaper than their A-rated equivalents, with prices starting from £250 for basic models, and going up to £1000 for top-of-the-range models. The average price you should expect to pay for a B-rated washing machine is £400.
This means that an A-rated washing machine will (on average) set you back around £75 more than a B-rated machine would. Based on an energy saving of £17.60 a year, you could look to see a return on your investment within 4 and a half years.
How to Save Energy When Using Your Washing Machine
Whilst the energy efficiency label and figures will give you a pretty good indication of how much a new washing machine will cost, there are always steps that you can take to boost the efficiency of an appliance in normal use.
1. Choose shorter cycles where possible
Where possible, try to use shorter wash cycles. This one is especially helpful if you are on a water meter, and this is a great way to reduce the amount of water that your washing machine is using in the average cycle.
2. Wash at lower temperatures
Stick to cooler temperatures when washing clothing or fabrics that are only lightly soiled. Where possible, try to only use higher temperatures when you are washing articles that are particularly dirty or stained.
Make sure that you do run a higher temperature wash cycle every now and again though, as this will stop bacteria and nasty smells building up in your washing machine.
3. Use the right load size
Instead of running multiple small washing machine cycles, try to gather up a full load of washing instead, but don’t overfill the machine. This will bring great savings to both your electricity and water usage.
4. Use stain remover
Stubborn stains can sometimes require multiple washing machine cycles to shift but investing in a good stain remover can stop this from being a necessity. Apply a good stain remover before putting the clothing through the wash, and then you can run the cycle on your normal setting, rather than turning the temperature up or re-running the wash.
5. Soak before you wash
If a stain remover isn’t an option, soak heavily soiled items before putting them in the washing machine. Rub at the stains with household soap so you don’t have to rerun a wash.
6. Use high spin speeds to cut tumble dryer usage
Where you can, use a high spin speed. This will mean that your clothing comes out of the washing machine almost dry, and therefore won’t need the greatest amount of time in a tumble dryer. Be aware, however, that this is not to be recommended for truly delicate items of clothing.
7. Use off-peak hours (depending on your tariff)
Check your energy tariff – some suppliers and plans have off-peak hours, during which energy prices are cheaper. If you can, try to run your washing machine cycles during these hours to save on the energy costs!
Hopefully you now have more of an idea about which energy-efficient washing machine will suit your lifestyle, pocket and household the best.
The most energy-efficicent washing machine we could find is the AEG Softwater Technology L9FEC966R, with an annual energy consumption of just 76 kWh.
Reducing the energy consumption of your washing machine is not only good to save you money on bills, but it’s great for reducing the environmental impact of excessive energy usage. Have fun saving money with your new washing machine!
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