Green machines: Brits are changing their laundry habits in response to rising energy costs

Long-established routines around the home are changing in favour of the environment, as households seek to save on their energy costs.

This is according to AEG and its largest-ever European study of laundry habits, called ‘The Truth About Laundry’.

Of the 1,000 UK adults surveyed, the manufacturer found that 81 per cent agreed that the current energy crisis has made them think more about the energy used by their home appliances. In addition, over half admitted that energy efficiency will be a key consideration when they buy their next appliance.

The report also revealed that over 9.5 million British households are still washing at 40 degrees or more, and many consumers are failing to take advantage of the settings on their appliances that could be saving them energy. More than two thirds of those surveyed (69 per cent) reported they consistently used the default time setting on their appliance, regardless of whether their clothes just need a slight refresh.

However, the research also found some positives too – with more than 13 million UK households already changing the way they launder in response to increasing energy prices. Nearly half (49 per cent) have reduced the number of times they put a wash on, and the same number are wearing their clothes more often between washes.

AEG’s Pre Loved with Care Campaign from 2021

AEG has compiled a list of tips to help consumers make a difference to the planet and their pocket when it comes to energy usage. It’s called it ‘Five Steps to Change’:

1. Make 30 degrees the new 40 degrees as often as possible. Each year the total CO2 equivalent saved by one household switching from 40 to 30 is 27.2kg, meaning the UK has the potential to save thousands of tons of CO2 if more people make the switch.

2. Pick energy efficient appliances. They use less energy and are resource efficient, which saves on bills and is kinder to the planet.

3. Skip a wash, and refresh instead. New technology means consumers can refresh their clothes by steaming instead of running a full laundry cycle – tackling any odours at a fraction of the energy cost.

4. Unlock appliance potential, and explore the eco settings readily available on most appliances nowadays.

5. Start small, wash full. Nearly half of UK households are now washing full loads more often due to concerns over energy costs, so check your laundry basket is full before washing.

Luke Harding, General Manager at Electrolux UK and Ireland, parent company of AEG, said that consumers are already making a conscious effort to use less energy, and these changes will help to drastically reduce carbon emissions and generate a positive environmental impact.

“However,” he went on, “it’s clear from our research that people still aren’t sure of how to use their machines in the most eco-friendly way. Therefore, it’s about educating our customers on the small steps we can all take in order to make a big change to the planet.”