Many domestic appliances must now meet strict criteria on energy efficiency. To make it easy to choose these, Trading Standards has developed a set of standardised tests and a grading system to highlight a product’s efficiency. Products are graded A to G, with A the most energy efficient and G the least. Some products feature an A+ rating - because they're super efficient.
Washing machines can be awarded a triple AAA rating where energy, wash quality and spin are all independently rated for efficiency. To achieve an AAA rating a machine will typically have technology that monitors and adjusts the amount of water per load depending on the amount of soiling. Additionally, a timer delay allowing the use of cheaper overnight electricity supplies can also save money.
As a general rule with washing machines, the more expensive the model, the more efficient it is. Grades on a washing machine are measured against:
Energy and efficiency: the amount of water and electricity a machine uses.
Wash performance: a machine’s effectiveness at cleaning and removing stubborn stains.
Spin speed: the faster the rotations, the more water is extracted and so the drying time speeds up.
Most machines are now cold fill only. To reduce running costs, the coolest temperature should be used - as most of a washing machine’s energy consumption comes from heating the water.