Energy and environmental appraisal of domestic laundering appliances

C. Porteous, Timothy Sharpe, R. Menon, D. Shearer, H. Musa, C.H. Sanders, P.H. Baker, P. A. Strachan, N. J. Kelly, A. Markopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


At a time when UK and Scottish governments are aiming for zero-carbon housing, there are two key issues for domestic laundering: passive indoor drying, affecting heating use and the indoor environment (addressed elsewhere); and energy and environmental impacts of appliances. Relevant findings are reported on the 2008-2011 study 'Environmental Assessment of Domestic Laundering', drawing on monitored data from 22 case studies out of 100 dwellings surveyed in Glasgow. Differing consumer traits and habits, combined with variable technical performance, provide quantitative and qualitative evidence of a wide estimated annual consumption range. Actual usage and energy consumption averaged less than UK predictions; and values did not necessarily correspond with manufacturers' energy ratings. In a wider discussion, case study median and mean extrapolations of electricity consumed by laundering (105 and 174 kWh/person-year) prove significant relative to the proportion of what could be available to a dwelling achieving the German Passivhaus standard. The potential for heat recovery from 'grey' water is posited along with other options for mitigating power consumed by appliances. Renewable technology to offset consumption in shared facilities is discussed as a means of easing the performance of individual homes. The foregoing aspects are among key conclusions directed at housing occupiers, providers, national and local governments, and industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-699
Number of pages21
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number6
Early online date2 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • appliances
  • consumer habits
  • domestic laundering
  • energy consumption
  • indoor air quality
  • inhabitant behaviour
  • housing
  • plug loads


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