Energy saving tips

Load them up

A full load for either a dishwasher or a washing machine uses the same amount of water and energy as a part load, unless you have a special ‘half load’ setting on your machine. Obviously jamming in as many clothes as you can into the washing machine will reduce its performance, so you may want to weight your washing to make sure you are not overloading.

Be cool

A lot of research has gone into ‘cold water detergents’ not all of them have been successful but a number of leading laundry brands now wash very well at 30°C. Assuming that the water is supplied from the mains at about 15°C this means that you can save half of the energy used to heat the water if you wash at 30°C rather than 45°C, and two thirds of the energy if you switch from washing at 60°C. So looking for a washing machine that washes at 30°C is very worthwhile.

For dishwashers the leading brands recommend washing at no more than 50 or 55°C. This can save a lot of energy — about 84kWh of electricity in a year1.

Drying out

The washing machine spin cycle can make a big difference to how damp the clothes are when they come out and so how much energy it takes to get them dry. If you are drying outside, a slower spin will save energy and reduce creasing in the clothes (and reduce the energy you use when ironing). If you are planning to dry indoors a higher cycle speed is recommended to make them as dry as possible, especially if you are then going to use a tumble dryer.

Some dishwashers will allow you to air dry the dishes, saving energy on the drying cycle. This is a feature worth looking for.