A new washing machine should last a long time, so when you’re ready to upgrade choose an energy-efficient model that will pay you back with long-term savings.
Choose a front loader
Replacing a top-loading washing machine with a front-loading model is the number one way to clean up your energy bills; front-loaders can use a whopping 60 per cent less energy and water.
New machines should have lots of efficiency-focused features as well. In particular, look for programmable timers to take advantage of off-peak rates and the ability to select cold water cycles with lower spin speeds.
Aim for the stars
Washing machines are covered by the compulsory Energy Star rating scheme , which means that all models must display a star rating based on their energy efficiency. Have a look at the ratings on different models on the Energy Star website.
Likewise, washing machines are also graded on water efficiency. Water efficiency will feed into your energy bill when you do a warm wash – if the appliance uses lots of water you’ll spend more heating it.
Once again, ratings are available online. Aim for the most stars to get a more efficient appliance for both water and energy ratings.
Make the right connection
Depending on the way a washing machine is designed, water used in a warm wash can either be heated using elements in the machine or be piped in from your hot-water system.
And depending on how energy efficient your hot-water system is, you can save a lot by choosing a new machine with the right connection.
For example, if your water is heated by solar or gas, it’s generally more efficient to use hot water from here for a warm wash – so choose a model with both hot and cold water connections.
But if you have an energy-intensive electric water heater, go for a washing machine with only a cold water inlet – a model with a good star rating should be more efficient.
Fill it up and go for cold
How you use your washing machine will also affect its energy usage. Make sure you only wash when there’s a full load in the basket and soak stained clothes overnight so that a cold wash will be enough to get them looking new again.
An energy-efficient washing machine isn't the only way you can save on your energy bill. Try EnergyAustralia’s online energy quote tool to make sure you're on the right plan.