Which! washing machine is actually the cheapest?

washing machineEnergy bills are top of most people’s money-saving agenda. With the Government’s own figures suggesting that between 2.3m and 3.2m people* in the UK are in fuel poverty, finding ways to save money on energy would be A Good Thing.

Now, our friends over at Which! Have teamed up with John Lewis and the Department for Energy and Climate Change to offer an insight into the true cost of new appliances, by calculating and adding in the lifetime energy costs of various appliances. Their figures say suggest that cheap washing machine might not be so cheap after all.

Take this example Which!! provided:

The Indesit BAN12NF fridge freezer costs £250 to buy and £53 a year to run. Over a lifetime (seven years) it costs £621 to own.

The Hotpoint RF175M fridge freezer costs £300 to buy and £18 a year to run. Over a lifetime it costs £426 to own - £195 less the Indesit.

The information will be shown on the product information label and will be trialled on washing machines, washer dryers and tumble dryers in some John Lewis stores. For the purposes of these calculations, a lifetime is seven years (just ask anyone who's married) and the cost is “based on the current EU energy label regulations, which look at the energy used during two 60ºC cotton cycles and one 40ºC cotton cycle.” This could make for interesting reading when comparing the cost of fridge freezers and tellys.

However, before you switch off (geddit) as you would never buy your white goods from a department store, never fear. Which!!! has thought of you too. They have also published  energy cost calculators online which help you compare the total cost of buying a new machine, so you can be sure you are getting the actual overall cheapest one. However, they don’t say what you should do if you can only afford the cheapest machine, even if it’s not the most energy efficient.

So, will you check the guide to make sure you are getting the best deal in the long run, or will you just buy the best value machine with an AAA rating?


* They changed how they calculate what constitutes ‘fuel poverty’. Although they can now say that almost a million fewer people are in fuel poverty, this had absolutely nothing** to do with the method change.

** absolutely everything.


  • Tits M.
    Not a bad saving. Right, I'm off to Brighthouse.
  • JD64
    Interesting that they are selling these with a quoted 7 year life span. Should lead for some pretty good comeback if you have any problems (outside of a specified manufacturer warranty period) in that time frame which, especially on those quoted brands above, is certainly possible.
  • Big M.
    @JD64 - think the 7 years is Which's supposition not the manufacturers.
  • JD64
    @Big Mozzer - yup although the article says that this information may be represented on John Lewis' tickets. If so then I think that would be a reasonable case for a customer buying one of those products from John Lewis to go back within that period and claim that the John Lewis ticket indicated they could expect 7 years worth of reliability. Otherwise this could come across, for John Lewis, as a case of false advertising. Advertising a cost over 7 years and describing it as the 'lifetime' of the appliance would indicate that anything less that this may mean it wasn't fit for purpose and would certainly be worth an argument in store!

What do you think?

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