As a consumer, do you want to reduce your energy consumption and emissions? One of the biggest steps is hanging your laundry old-fashioned on the clothesline or the drying rack. This saves an average of 10 percent on energy consumption on an annual basis.

The figures come from energy expert Martien Visser. He is an energy transition lecturer at Hanze University of Applied Sciences and works for Gasunie and the Clingendael Institute. Visser regularly dives into Dutch energy statistics, and discovered that all tumble dryers in the Netherlands are jointly responsible for annual emissions of half a million tons of CO2.

This corresponds to more than 1 percent of the total electricity consumption in the Netherlands. Since industry and transport also use a lot of electricity, the share within households is higher: tumble dryers are responsible for about 6 percent of the total annual electricity consumption.

Because according to CBS figures, about 60 percent of households have a tumble dryer, dryer owners account for approximately 10 percent of the total electricity consumption, assuming that the further electricity consumption between the two groups is the same.

More than 1% of all NL electricity disappears via clothes dryers. That is 40% of the 750 MW offshore wind farm Borssele and leads to 0.5 Mton CO2. Exchange for more efficient appliances saves half. However, with a little climate change, the laundry dries outside. You too? #graphicsofday

AvatarAvatar Author BM_Visser Moment of places 12: 03 - 12 July 2020

Visser tells NU.nl that the total energy consumption of the white goods categories does not differ much from each other. Clothes dryers use just a little more power than washing machines, which account for 5 percent of total household power consumption - the important difference being that almost all homes have one.

A tumble dryer uses almost twice as much energy as a washing machine per appliance, and according to Visser you have to take into account that there are relatively economical and inefficient dryers.

You can hang the laundry on the line, but not the dishes

Dishwashers also add up to about 5 percent of all household electricity, corresponding to more than one percent of total Dutch electricity production.

But whether you are more climate conscious without a dishwasher depends on your style of washing: "Washing is a bit more complicated, because the alternative is not to hang the dishes on the clothesline, after which nature does its work."

"A hand wash also requires hot water, and if you do that with the tap running, the energy consumption of a hand wash can be greater than that of an economical dishwasher."

Trade in old appliances saves half

Therefore, according to Visser, the dryer is the most avoidable large power user. "Evaporating water costs a lot of energy - and therefore a lot of electricity if you do it with a dryer. However, there is an old alternative available, where you simply let it be done by the outside air."

For those who really don't want to do that, it can be worthwhile to exchange an old dryer for a newer, more energy-efficient one. "That already saves half of the power consumption," says Visser.