An article on the BBC website today on a new type of clothes drier which is 3 time quicker and uses 70% less energy caught our eye. Clothes driers on average consume more than 10% of a household’s electricity (394kWh /year (£60) from an average annual house electricity consumption of 3,638kWh/year (£545) Source: Powering the Nation Report), so a 70% reduction would save £42 per year and take 7% of the UK’s domestic electricity demand. The new technology has the added benefit that it should do less damage to clothes than the current hot air based technology, and thus clothes should last longer. More information is available on this youtube video.
In general when we do home energy surveys we advice people to try to switch from using tumble driers to using washing lines, where at all possible, particularly in the summer.
Perhaps the ultimate solution from an energy efficiency perspective is waterless clothes cleaning, so drying is not even required. This technology is being pioneered by a British company, but is currently only used for commercial applications. This would not only avoid the need to dry clothes at all but reduce electricity consumption further by reducing the 5% of domestic electricity currently used by washing machines.