Clothes washers and dryers
Washing machines and clothes dryers can be big energy users. They can cost up to $150 to run annually and produce one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
Using your washing machine efficiently
Front loading washing machines are usually more energy and water efficient than top loaders, particularly for washing in warm water. Front loaders may also have a higher spin speed, meaning washing comes out drier and take less time and energy to dry. However, front loaders may have longer washing cycles than top loading machines and are generally more expensive to purchase.
Choose the most energy and water efficient washing machine you can afford and select one that is the right size for your needs.
To save energy when using your washing machine:
- where possible, wash a full load rather than several smaller loads
- adjust the wash cycle to match the load size and type
- pre-soak or pre-treat heavily soiled items rather than washing them more than once
- use economy or energy saving cycles
- wash with cold or cool water – this can more than halve reduce your running costs.
Using your clothes dryer efficiently
The most energy efficient and cheapest way to dry your clothes is by hanging them outside or on a drying rack.
To save energy when using your clothes dryer:
- don't put very wet clothes in the dryer – remove as much water as possible
- always clean the lint filter after use, a clogged filter will increase energy use and can be unsafe
- don't overload the dryer, as it increases the drying time
- dry clothes in consecutive loads, as the dryer is already warm.
Clothes washers and dryers running costs
As clothes washers and dryers have multiple options for the length and type of cycle (for example eco versus full wash), the cost per cycle is a more useful measure than hourly running costs.
If you’re buying a clothes washer or dryer, use the energy rating label to help choose the most energy efficient model - the more stars the better. You can multiply the annual kWh on the label by the tariff on your electricity bill to see what the approximate annual running cost will be.
You can also compare the estimated running costs of new models on the Energy Rating website.
The tables below can help you work out the cost of running appliances currently in your home.
Costs are based on a washing machine connected to a cold tap only (the water is heated by the clothes washer rather than your water heater).
|Capacity of machine||Star rating||Cost per cycle – |
|Cost per cycle – |
5kg – small
7kg – medium
8.5kg – large
|Note: Estimated running costs are based on the AGL electricity and Origin Energy standing retail contracts. For further methodology information, please contact the Energy Advisory Service.|
|Capacity of machine||Type of machine||Star rating||Cost per cycle|
Estimated running costs are based on the AGL electricity and Origin Energy standing retail contracts. For further methodology information, please contact the Energy Advisory Service.