Is it cheaper to use your washing machine at night? Fact check

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Last week the new energy price cap came into full effect, adding to the struggles of UK households who are already feeling the financial pinch from the cost of living crisis. As bills start to squeeze even more out of Britons, many are looking close to home for ways they can reduce their monthly outgoings.

As of Friday, April 1, 2022, the latest change to the energy price cap has taken effect, adding an estimated £700 extra per year in bills for the average household.

The increase means a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity will now pay £1,971 per year.

And with bills expected to grow again later in 2022 it’s no surprise Britons are looking to make every penny count.

One energy saving myth which has been bandied around concerns the time of day you use your washing machine. So, is there any truth to this?

Many people assume that washing your clothes at night is the best way to save money.

However, according to In The Wash this is only the case if you are on a tariff known as ‘Economy 7’.

At night this tariff gives you cheaper energy, but it’s quite an old tariff and most of the UK isn’t on it.

If you are lucky enough to be on Economy 7 you could halve the cost of running your washing machine at night.

Unfortunately, for those of us who are not on Economy 7 it’s unlikely that you’ll save any money running your machine at night.

When the new 54 percent rise in the energy price cap took effect it was estimated that 18 million households would be affected by a £693 rise in energy costs.

A 30-year-high in inflation is further compounding the misery for Britons, many of whom could now struggle to buy basic goods and services.

So, if you’re not on an Economy 7 tariff how else could you save money when using your washing machine?

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For a typical household bill ‘wet appliances’ make up roughly 10 percent of the final total, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

To save some cash on running your washing machine, try these tips:

1) Drop the temperature

Turning down the temperature by a few degrees means your appliance uses less energy and thus saves you cash.

2) Fill the washing machine

When you go to put a wash on make sure you don’t just fill your machine with half a load.

Instead, make sure to pack the entirety of your washing machine drum with each use as this will mean you don’t have to put so many washes on.

3) Do a maintenance check

Show some care for your machinery and check it regularly to make sure it’s in good working order.

The reward will mean it’s working as efficiently as possible if you clean the filter each month and give your machine a ‘service wash’.

Why are energy bills rising?

At present, wholesale prices are being affected by the war in Ukraine and ongoing pressure on suppliers.

Gas and energy prices have also been rising globally for several reasons. These include:

  • A cold winter in Europe in 2020/21 has put pressure on supplies and, as a result, meant stored gas supplies dropped
  • A relatively windless summer meant it was difficult to replenish those supplies
  • Increased demand from Asia – especially China – for liquefied natural gas

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