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Site prices were last updated 26thMarch2015. When they are updated all calculations on the site are updated with the new prices automatically. The major four prices are in the table on the right, the prices for electricity and gas are taken from the Department of Energy and Climate Change quarterly reviews. All prices include VAT and delivery where appropriate. Much more here on prices.

Electricity £ 0.156 per unit (1 kWh)
Gas £ 0.05 per unit (1 kWh)
Domestic LPG £ 0.063 per unit (1 kWh)
Heating Oil £ 0.056 per unit (1 kWh)

Tumble Dryers

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washer dryerDrying your clothes in a tumble dryer can be expensive as they consume large amounts of energy. The EU energy label for tumble dryers is calculated using the cotton drying cycle with a maximum load. Products are rated A – G according to the energy required per kilogramme of washing.

There are two different types of tumble dryer:  a vented dryer and a condenser dryer (which needs no venting) and each has its own energy rating scale.  Condenser dryers are slightly more expensive to run that vented dryers; typically around 5pence – 10pence per load depending on exact energy consumption and size of load.

Most tumble dryers are C rated; there are very few A rated machines available. An A rated machine would save approximately 15pence per load of drying, which depending on the number of loads of drying you do per year could save you in the region of £ 15 - £ 30 per year. However this needs to be put in the context of the extra cost of an A rated tumble dryer, which could be up to £ 200 more expensive to buy.

As with washing machines, there is very little to choose between tumble dryers on energy consumption when buying a new one. Reliability, longevity and your overall budget will be more important factors in your purchasing decision.

However if you do use a tumble dryer then there are big cost savings you can make if you minimise the amount you use your machine.

Energy saving Tumble Dryer tips...

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0 # Haet pump tumble dryersPaul 2014-01-13 16:15
One other option to mention here is a heat pump tumble dryer. Miele do several; the cheapest is £1100 which is about 40% more expensive then their standard model. It is A rated. Miele gear is expected to last twenty years so the total cost of ownership is pretty good compared to the usual white goods obsolescence and collapse about 4-5 years.
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0 # biomassjohn 2013-01-21 19:59
I have a biomass (woodchip) boiler. I'd like to find a tumble dryer that uses hot water as its heat source. Do you know of such a thing?
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0 # Tumble driers - hot-water poweredSimon Morgan 2013-12-02 09:01
I think it is extremely unlikely that you will find a hot water powered tumble drier. They may exist in an industrial scale (commercial laundries) but the added cost and complication of installation on a domestic scale makes it improbable.

If you have access to cheap hot water then a drying room (aka utility room) would be your best bet with a hot water radiator. To improve the efficiency a circulating or extractor fan may improve the economics - I haven't done the calculations but drying clothes is all about relative humidity in the drying zone and I surmise not an easy calculation to do!

If you were a practical type I think it would be possible to build your own by removing the electrical heating element and passing air over a radiator.

My limited understanding of electric tumble driers is that they are relatively efficient provided you duct the moist air away from the drier.

Of course the most efficient means of drying clothes is to use solar power - hang them on a washing line. You may have to wait a long time in winter :(

As your post was a while ago I would be interested to learn whether you had any success.
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0 # gas tumble dryersRichard 2010-04-04 19:44
You are right we do not mention them, sorry. But they must cost at least half as much and possibly 70% less than electric, since the primary fuel (Gas) is so much less expensive. I am assuming the conversion of gas to heat is very efficient. They would also produce less carbon dioxide than electric since grid electricity is 80% fossil fuel power.
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0 # gas tumble dryersM Clarke 2010-03-28 17:26
You don't mention gas tumble dryers. Or are these the A rated ones you refer to? I know Gas dryers are more expensive to buy but they are cheaper to run. Our first one lasted about 12years with only one replacement part in all that time. Could you run a comparison with gas as opposed to electric tumble dryers?
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Site Guidance

All calculations on this site are based on current fuel prices they are checked regularly are automatically updated and were last changed on:-
26th March 2015
For complete clarity, all calculation using current fuel prices are coloured red.
The costs calculated based on these fuel prices should be regarded as 'good estimates', given that fuel prices vary in different parts of the county and at different time of the year.
The calculations also have different levels of accuracy depending on the nature of the calculation. For example calculating the energy use of a known power output TV is very easy compared to calculating the effect on energy savings when insulating a cavity wall.

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Icons are also used throughout the site to indicate the level of saving or the relative cost implications associated with an choice you might make, or a tip you read or related to how your house is currently configured. These icons below.
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Site Units

The main units used in this site are in the table below, For a complete explanation of any of these Wikipedia is an excellent resource.

Unit Name Detail
W Watt Unit of Power
kW Kilowatt 1000 watts
kWh Kilowatt hour Measure of Energy
L Litre Measure of Volume

Best Investment table

Measures to reduce fuel bills ROI*
Lagging 1
Loft Insulation 1.8
Cavity Wall Insulation 2
Underfloor Insulation 3.8
Solid Wall Insulation 13.6
Solar Hot Water 30
Double Glazing 50

*ROI is the time it takes in years to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house. The table assumes no government incentive schemes are used.

Renewable Energy Measures ROI**
Heat Pumps
- Replacing Electric
4 to 7
Heat Pumps
- Replacing LPG
51 to 101
Wind Power 13 to 51
Solar Photovoltaics 22 to 59

**ROI is the time it takes in years to return the investment in electricity savings. The table assumes no government incentive schemes are used.

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