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Retailers and tradies

We've prepared this information for retailers and tradies who sell domestic washing machines and clothes dryers.

If you're a consumer, visit our consumer section of this website.

Overview

Want to help your customers make a smarter choice?

When you're familiar with the facts about energy efficiency – and know how to read and explain the Energy Rating Label – you’ll be able to assist your customers to make a smarter choice. You’ll be able to confidently answer their questions about how much a new machine will cost to run – and how to calculate the total cost of ownership – so they can compare models accurately and make an informed choice.

With the right information, your customers can choose the right washer or dryer to suit their needs – and budget – while saving money in the long-run.

Explore this page to learn about:

  • online training for retailers and tradies
  • the Energy Rating Label
  • the Water Rating Label
  • calculating running costs
  • top tips to tell your customers
  • answering your customers’ FAQs
  • tips to use a washer or dryer efficiently.
  • related pages and documents for retailers and tradies

Download a summary of this factsheet (PDF)

Online training for retailers and tradies

This factsheet has been prepared to complement the washers and dryers module in the free retailer training program, delivered online in partnership with Smarter Choice.

Contact us to register for online training – or for more information about online training options for you or your team.

Contact us to register

Did you know?

$340

This is how much more it typically costs to run a 3.5 star washer compared to a 4.5 star unit over ten years using the warm wash cycle.

Each star makes a massive difference  use the online Energy Rating Calculator or download the app (iTunes | Android) to compare models and calculate costs.

$570

This is how much can be saved in energy bills over ten years by replacing an old washer with a new one.

A 15 year-old washer typically uses 34% more energy to do a warm wash compared to a modern one – this works out at about 200 Kw per year, or $57. Keeping the old one can be an expensive decision.

$360

This is how much more it typically costs over ten years to run a top loader compared to a front loader using the warm wash cycle.

The smarter choice is usually a front-loader. As well as costing less to run, front loaders generally use a lot less water – and are gentler on clothes.

The Energy Rating Label

Clothes washers and clothes dryers sold or supplied in Australia must display the Energy Rating Label. These labels are similar to those on other products such as TVs) and domestic fridges however, there one key difference on some washer labels.

Some washers will have two energy consumption figures instead of one. This is because manufacturers can voluntarily display the cold wash energy consumption – next to the mandatory warm wash figure.

It is important to note the Star Rating relates only to the warm-wash figure – not to cold.

Clothes dryers are also required to display the Energy Rating Label. Significant advances in energy efficiency in dryers – especially with heat-pump technology – has meant some dryers now have an extra row on the label to display more stars. These dryers – with 7 to 10 stars – are classed as super-efficient.

For more information about reading the Energy Rating Label, download the How to read the Energy Rating Label guide or visit the labelling page. You can also read responses to some common questions from customers in the FAQs.

More information about the Energy Rating Label

The Water Rating Label

Clothes washers display both the Energy Rating and Water Rating Labels. You can use the Water Rating Label to compare water consumption of similar capacity machines

Saving water means saving money on water bills – which may be incentive enough for some customers.  However saving water also means saving money on energy bills.

This is because – on a warm wash cycle – about 80% of the energy consumed is to heat the water. If there is less water to heat, less energy is needed. On top of this, water is heavy, so with more water-weight in the tub, the electric motor in the washer has to work harder – and use more energy – to agitate the load, then complete the spin cycle.

More information about the Water Rating Label

Calculating running costs

Purchase price is only part of the picture.

Always work out running costs – and the total cost of ownership – of washers and dryers to make sure a purchase decision is an informed one. Sometimes spending a bit more upfront can work out to be cost-effective in the long-run.

The total cost of ownership is the purchase price plus the estimated cost to run the appliance over ten years. Because the running costs can vary so much between models, the difference over ten years can be hundreds of dollars – and in some cases as much as, or more than, the initial purchase price. Only considering upfront costs could end up being a costly mistake.

Use the online Energy Rating Calculator or download the free app (iTunes | Android) to work this out.

Use the Energy Rating Calculator

Top tips to tell your customers

Choose the highest star rating

The more stars on the label, the more efficient – which means it will cost less to run.

Even one star difference can cost – or save – hundreds of dollars. For example, choosing a 3 star, 10 kg top-loader washing machine instead of a 4 star equivalent can cost your customer an extra $580 over the next 10 years if they use the warm-wash cycle.

However it's important to make sure you customer knows they can only compare the star rating on similar capacity models.

Of course, whether it's a washer or dryer, the running costs (and total cost of ownership) will vary for each customer.  It depends on the specific models they are comparing, how often they do a load and where they live – as each state or territory has a different average electricity tariff.

Fortunately, it's easy to help your customer work this out for their individual circumstances, by using the Energy Rating Calculator) online or by downloading the free app (iTunes |Android).

What the stars mean

Choose a model with load sensing technology

Unfortunately, some washing machines and dryers don’t automatically adjust their program to suit the size of the load.

This means if your customer does small loads, the machine may consume more energy – and water in the case of washers – than needed. Using more energy means bigger bills.

Buying a machine with load-sensing technology gets around this issue. Alternatively, they could opt to use their machines only when they have enough washing to put on a full load.

The Your Energy Savings website provides more tips on using washers and dryers – and other appliances – efficiently to save energy and money.

Visit the Your Energy Savings website

Look for dual water connections on washers

Some washing machinesonly have a cold water connection on the back. This means the washer relies on its internal heating element when set to do a warm wash – and this element is what consumes about 80% of the energy.

If your customer has a super-efficient hot water system in their home – such as a gasoff-peak electricsolaror a heat pump system – it may be cheaper use their external system heat the water. To do this, they need to have a machine with dual connections so they can connect the hot hose from the washer to the hot tap in their home. This bypasses the washer’s internal element – so the machine uses about the same energy do d a warm wash as it would a cold wash.

More about water heating systems

Keeping the old washer or dryer could cost your customer dearly!

It can end up being more cost-effective to replace an old, working washer or dryer with a new one. This is because energy efficiency technology has come a long way in recent years – the savings in running costs can be as much as the purchase price of a new one!

For example, a 15 year-old washer typically uses 34% more energy than a modern one. This works out at about 200 Kw per year, or $57. To put it another way, that's $570 over ten years – or the cost of a new machine.

Of course, it is important old appliances are disposed of responsibly – visit the Your Energy Savings website for more information about disposal.

Visit the Your Energy Savings disposal page

Heat-pump clothes dryers can be an economical option.

While heat pump dryers are more expensive to buy upfront, a customer who regularly uses their dryer each week may save enough on their bills to make it a smarter choice.

This is because heat pump dryers are significantly more energy efficient than conventional dryers, as they use the most advanced technology. Their energy usage is very, very low – as such the total cost of ownership between some heat pump and conventional dryers can be similar, even considering the upfront price difference.

Of course, whether a heat pump or conventional dryer is more cost effective in the long-run depends on which models are being compared and how often your customer uses it. To help your customer work this out, use the Energy Rating Calculator – or download the free app (iTunes | Android).

More about clothes dryers

FAQs

How can I calculate what the clothes dryer will cost to run?

As the price of electricity can change over time and is based on where you live, the cost of running the clothes dryer is not given on the label.  Instead, the label gives you the amount of energy the clothes dryer uses in kilowatt hours (kWh).

To calculate the annual cost of running the clothes dryer, multiply the kWh figure by the cost of electricity in your area.

For example, the clothes dryer you are looking at says on the label that it uses 750kWh per year You know from your electricity bill that the price of electricity in your area is 29 cents per kWh. Simply multiple the kWh number by the electricity price to find the cost of running that clothes dryer each year. In this example, it would be $217 per year.

What does the number of stars mean on a dryer?

The number of stars on the label also helps you compare the efficiency of one clothes dryer to another of the same or similar capacity. For example, a 5kg clothes dryer with 4 stars is more efficient than another 5kg clothes dryer with only 2 stars. Unfortunately, the number of stars cannot be used to compare clothes dryers of different capacities because the size of the clothes dryers is used to calculate how many stars it can receive.

How do I use the energy consumption and stars together?

Both the energy consumption and the number of stars can be used together to give you all the information you need about the energy performance of the clothes dryer. This information can then be taken into account in your purchasing decision.

For example, two different 5kg clothes dryers have all the features you want but the energy rating label says Clothes Dryer A has 3.5 stars and uses 395kWh per year,and Clothes Dryer B has 4 stars but uses 290kWh per year. In this example, you would choose Clothes Dryer B as it is more efficient than Clothes Dryer A because it uses less energy to get more stars.

What does the number of stars mean on a washer?

The number of stars on the label also helps you compare the efficiency of one clothes washer to another of a similar capacity. For example, a 9kg front loader clothes washer with 4 stars is more efficient than another 9kg top loader clothes washer with only 3 stars. Unfortunately, the number of stars cannot be used to compare clothes washers of different capacities because the size of the clothes washers is used to calculate how many stars it can receive.

How can I calculate what the clothes washer will cost to run?

As the price of electricity can change over time and is based on where you live, the cost of running the washing machine is not given on the label.  Instead, the label gives you the amount of energy the clothes washer uses in kilowatt hours (kWh).

Depending on the features of the clothes washer, the label may display the amount of energy used in a warm wash cycle or two amounts, one for a warm wash cycle and one for a cold wash cycle.

To calculate the annual cost of running the clothes washer, multiply the kWh figure by the cost of electricity in your area.

For example, the clothes washer you are looking at says on the label that it uses 750kWh per year on a warm wash and 100kWh on a cold wash. You know from your electricity bill that the price of electricity in your area is 29 cents per kWh. Simply multiple the kWh number by the electricity price to find the cost of running that clothes washer each year. In this example, the warm wash is $217 and the cold wash is $29.

Using a cold wash can dramatically reduce the energy cost of running your washing machine.

Compare models

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Energy Rating Calculator

Compare the energy efficiency of fridges, televisions and computer monitors, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, and air conditioners.

Compare models

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Download the calculator app

Use the Energy Rating Calcualtor app to compare the energy efficiency and running costs of similar products.

Apps

Using washers and dryers efficiently

No matter which washing machine or dryer you sell your customer, they will probably be keen to know how they can save money in the long-run.

Using washers and dryers efficiently is the key. To reduce their energy use – and save money – advise your customers to:

  • Wash with cold water - Switching to a cold wash every time can cut 80 to 90 per cent of running costs
  • Spin fast! Spin out excess water before drying, using the fastest speed setting. Having less moisture in the clothes means the dryer doesn’t have to run as long – dryers generally use more energy than washers.
  • Install a venting kit to send moist air from the clothes dryer outside their home and increase its efficiency. Condenser and heat pump dryers don’t need to be vented.

The Your Energy Savings website provides other tips on using washers and dryers – and other appliances – efficiently, to help save energy and money.

Visit the Your Energy Savings website