How much energy does a washing machine use?

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Laundry is one of the easiest areas for reducing your household’s energy consumption.

You just need to know which features of your washing machine are responsible for the most of the total energy use. Fortunately, modern washing machines use only 25% of the energy that the early models consumed. Still, if your family needs to run a cycle a day, the cost of energy adds up quickly.

The main culprit of high energy draw are hot wash cycles. A washing machine that uses 0.3 kWh per kg of the drum’s capacity for cold wash can use 4.5 kWh per kg when set on 90°C cotton programme! An easy solution to this is simply soaking your clothes in a bowl filled with hot water (boiled in a kettle) before transferring them to the washing machine and running a cold wash.

When you are buying a washing machine, pay attention to the EU Energy Labels.

Pre-2010 labels inform you about the energy use expressed in kWh per 1 kg of the drum’s capacity when you run a 60°C cotton cycle with a full load:


<0.19 <0.23 <0.27 <0.31 <0.35 <0.39 <0.39



The new classification, expressed as EEI (Energy Efficiency Index), informs about the annual energy consumption for a washing machine with the capacity of 6 kg, based on 220 cycles (including stand-by power draw), 42% of which are 60°C cycles with full load and 29%: 40°C partial loads. EEI of 100 corresponds to the annual use of 334 kWh per year.


Class A+++ A++ A+ A B C D
EEI <46 46-52 52-59 59-68 68-77 77-87 >87


Did you know?

Tumble dryers are responsible for 90% of the laundry energy use. Haging your clothes out to dry is a much more environment-  and pocket-friendly option.

What about you? Do you use a tumble dryer?





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