article background

What Does it Cost to Run a Washing Machine?

In this Canstar Blue cost analysis, we look at how much it costs to run your home washing machine. We do this by analysing electricity costs, machine models, energy efficiency rating and size capacity.

The purchase price is always a factor when buying a new washing machine, but have you considered the ongoing costs? It’s easy to overlook running costs, but your washing machine is a significant contributor to your utility bills, particularly your electricity and water bills. This means the wrong washing machine might cost you big time in the long run.

So how much does your washing machine cost to use, and would you be better off buying a more efficient model instead? Canstar Blue explores the answers to these questions as well as ways you can potentially save on running costs.

How much does a washing machine cost to run?

Depending on the type, capacity, efficiency and cycle setting of your washing machine it can cost anywhere from $20 to close to $200 a year in energy costs to run your home washing machine, according to Genless data. This estimation assumes a household is running three loads a week with a warm wash, in a 5-10kg unit.

→Related article: How Much Are You Paying For Power? Average Electricity Costs per kWh in NZ

Is it cheaper to use an energy-efficient washing machine?

It depends. Energy efficient washing machines will almost always have lower running costs than their inefficient counterparts. However they’re also usually more expensive to purchase.

For an example of what you could expect to save by making the switch, we’ve calculated the average annual running cost of various energy rated units. Please note, these calculations are based on a 5-10kg washing machine which has been used for three warm wash loads per week.

Star Rating  Usage Annual Cost
1 – 2 stars 573kW $191.96
2.5 – 3.5 stars 456kW $183
4 – 4.5 stars 299kW $100.20
5 – 5.5 stars 230kW $77.05

General guide only. Average energy consumption figures based on clothes washers available in New Zealand, and assumes 3 uses per week using a warm wash. Electricity usage cost estimates based on the average electricity usage rate of 33.5c/kWh.

From the data above, we can that some households could save about $115 a year by upgrading their one or two star-rated washing machine for more a efficient, five or 5.5 star model. Of course, the savings could be even greater depending on your usage, model type and wash settings, so it may pay to investigate your options next time you are in the market for a new washer.

→Related article: Most Energy-Efficient Washing Machines

Finding the best kWh price for power?

The fact that you’re reading this means that you’re already on the right track to finding a great deal on power. But when comparing power companies, it’s important to consider the broader picture – don’t become too focused on finding a deal with a big prompt payment discount or special perk. Be sure to balance all the rates, discounts, fees and contract periods when making a decision, as well as more personal factors, such as customer service and support.

To help you find the best value electricity retailer, Canstar Blue rates NZ power companies for customer satisfaction and value for money, see the table below for some of the results, or you can click on the button below for the full results of our survey.

Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.

See Our Ratings Methodology

Compare electricity providers for free with Canstar Blue!

How to reduce the cost of washing

Now that you know how much you might be spending to use your washing machine, your next question should be how you can cut these costs. Here are some simple tips:

  • If you buy a new washing machine, consider a front loader instead of a top loader. Front loaders use around half the amount of water and electricity.
  • Look for models with load-sensing technology. The machine will adjust the amount of water it uses according to load size.
  • If machine doesn’t have load-sensing technology, only wash full loads.
  • Use a cold wash wherever possible. A cold wash is sufficient for lightly soiled clothes, and is ideal for brightly coloured clothing. Warm or hot water will be necessary for heavily soiled clothing.
  • When buying a washing machine, ensure you choose the right size. It’s a waste of money to pay to run a machine larger than you need.
  • Ensure you’re getting the best price for your electricity. If you haven’t compared your electricity plan recently, you might be spending more than you have to on your washing machine and other electrical appliances.

If all this washer talk has got you thinking about purchasing a new washing machine, but you’re not sure what option may be right for you, be sure to check out our washing machine buying guide by clicking the button below.

Compare washing machine providers for free with Canstar!

About the reviewer of this page

This page was reviewed by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

Enjoy reading this article?

You can like us on Facebook and get social, or sign up to receive more news like this straight to your inbox.

By subscribing you agree to the Canstar Privacy Policy

Share this article