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Energy graph


EU Energy efficiency labelling scheme, explained



Energy labelling is a useful tool to determine the environmental performance of washing machines and tumble dryers

A labelling system within the European Union was introduced in 1995 and now covers all appliances. Labels ranging from A+++ for the most energy efficient to D for the least efficient are currently applied to Washing machines, Combined washer-dryers, Tumble-dryers, Refrigerators and Dishwashers.

The EU introduced maximum permissible limits for energy consumption in Refrigerators and Freezers in September 1999.

All appliance manufacturers have to do the same EU Energy efficiency calculation in the same way; enabling the consumer to compare straight away which washing machine or tumble dryer is the more efficient appliances.

EU Energy efficiency label

Energy scale - Washing machines

A+++ being the most efficient and D the least

Energy consumption = kWh/annum (KiloWatt hours per year)

Washing machine's energy efficiency rating is calculated using a cotton wash cycle at 60°C with a maximum load; this load is typically 6 kg.

Also on the label you'll find symbols showing
 Energy graph


Water consumption in litresWater Consumption symbol


Capacity in kilogramsCapacity  symbol


Spin performance (A - G)Spin Performance symbol


 Noise level in decibelsNoise level symbol


EU Energy efficiency label

Energy scale - Tumble dryers
A+++ being the most efficient and D the least

Energy consumption = kWh/annum (KiloWatt hours per year)

Tumble dryer's energy efficiency rating is calculated using the cotton drying cycle with a maximum stated load.


Also on the label you'll find symbols showing


Energy graph

Dryer type symbolThe type of dryer (Electric or Gas)


Drying time symbolDrying time (Standard cotton cycle)

Capacity  symbolCapacity in kilograms

Noise level symbolNoise level in decibels

The condensation efficiency of a condenser dryer is rated A to GCondensing rating symbol

Tumble drying clothes in an electric dryer has never been considered an energy efficient way of drying clothes. The majority of tumble dryers are rated C for energy efficiencythere are very few A rated dryers available.. 

The Label must be displayed on all new appliances

EU Energy efficiency labelBy law, the Label must be displayed on all new washing machines and tumble-dryers displayed for sale, hire or hire-purchase. You should expect to be provided with this information however you buy these products: Mail order catalogues, Websites and manufacturers' literature must contain similar information.



The EU Energy efficiency labelling scheme makes it very easy to make a like-for-like comparison when choosing a new washing machine or tumble dryer. Though these figures represent the energy efficiency of the appliance the build quality and reliability may differ greatly between manufactures.


Information Also see our advice to . . .

 > Front loading vs Top-loading which is more effieinet?

 > The WEEE Directive


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