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For Consumers

Clothes washers

Child and adult unloading clothes dryer in kitchen

Clothes washers

While clothes washing machines are becoming more efficient, they are still relatively high users of energy.

If not chosen carefully and used wisely, your clothes washer can have a big impact on your power bill. Taking the time to source an energy-efficient washing machine, and learning how to use it well, can save you money and reduce your impact on the environment through greenhouse gas emissions.

Household clothes washers must meet energy efficiency requirements.

  • Clothes washers are required to carry an Energy Rating Label.
  • Clothes washers do not need to meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards.

The Energy Rating Label

The more stars, the more savings.

The Energy Rating Label helps you make informed choices when buying a clothes washer. It provides two important pieces of information about the appliance, the:

  • star rating
  • estimated energy consumption.

The star rating shows the energy efficiency of an appliance. It allows you to compare the energy efficiency of products that have similar capacity and features. The more stars, the less energy it uses and the cheaper it is to run.

The energy consumption is how much electricity the appliance is estimated to use in a year. This can help you predict the running costs.

Energy Rating Label for Clothes Washer showing 1 to 6 stars

Learn more about reading the label and estimating running costs

Visit Understand the Energy Rating Label

How to choose the right clothes washer for you

  • Start with size

    When purchasing a clothes washer, the first step is to determine the capacity that will best meet your needs.

    The capacity of washing machines on the market varies greatly, ranging from 5kg to over 18kg. Remember buying bigger is not always better – a bigger machine will usually cost more to purchase and cost more to run.

  • Decide on top or front loader

    Consider what is right for you.

    This decision may be made for you by the space available to put the machine.

    If you could have either, it is useful to consider that front loading machines:

    • usually have higher purchasing costs but use less water and energy, saving you money in the long run
    • are gentler on clothes
    • have much longer washing cycles.

    While top loaders tend to have shorter cycle times and can be more reliable, they are also harsher on your clothes and use more energy and water.

  • Use the star rating to compare energy efficiency

    It is important to compare products of the same capacity.

    Once you have decided on the best capacity of clothes washer, you can use the star ratings on the Energy Rating Label to compare the energy efficiency of different products.

    This is because the star rating considers the capacity of the appliance. For example, a 10kg clothes washer with a five star energy rating will use more energy than a 6kg clothes washer with a five star rating.

  • Seek professional advice

    Experts can help you make the right choice.

    As with any large purchase, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a number of suppliers or installers so they can advise on the clothes washer that may be appropriate for you. They will also be able to advise on running costs and how to use the appliance to improve its energy efficiency.

Find and compare clothes washers

Find and compare the star ratings and running costs for clothes washers. See how much you can save by choosing an energy-efficient appliance.

Visit the Energy Rating Calculator

Water Rating Label

Clothes washers must also display a Water Rating Label, under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme.

The scheme was established in 2005 to encourage more efficient domestic water use and reduce demand for drinking water in Australia by informing consumers about water efficiency. It regulates taps, showers, toilets, urinals, flow controllers, dishwashers and washing machines.

Visit the Water Rating site for more information.
Water rating label 4 stars out of 6
A copy of the Your Home book laying on a coffee table with a mug of coffee

Visit Your Home which provides information on designing new homes and home improvements. There is a dedicated Wastewater reuse section, that provides information about reusing wastewater.

Want to save on clothes washer running costs?

View our tips for using clothes washers efficiently
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