Should energy labels for washing machines be expanded to include a durability rating?

Braithwaite, N. ORCID: 0000-0001-6424-8919, Densley-Tingley, D. and Moreno, M., 2015. Should energy labels for washing machines be expanded to include a durability rating? In: T. Cooper, N. Braithwaite ORCID: 0000-0001-6424-8919, M. Moreno and G. Salvia, eds., Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) Conference proceedings, [Nottingham Trent University], Nottingham, 17-19 June 2015. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE, pp. 9-18. ISBN 9780957600997


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Washing machines are a key household appliance that can be found in the majority of UK homes. Over 2.5 million are sold in the UK every year and account for one of the highest material and production impacts of householder products in the UK (WRAP, 2011). Energy efficiency ratings are provided as a method for consumers to make an informed purchasing decision and were brought in by EU legislation to reduce energy use and enable users to reduce running costs, as it is known that the greater environmental impact of a washing machine is during use. From 2014, all washing machines sold must be at a minimum A rated, with ratings increasing to A+++. However, under this current labelling system the embodied impacts and durability of the machines are ignored. Through semi-structured interviews with consumers, manufacturers and distributors, this paper explores different perceptions of longevity and expectations of performance and durability. The paper explores whether energy labels should be expanded to include durability information, as this could enable consumers to make a decision based not only on cost and energy efficiency but also on expected lifespan. Existing manufacturer’s guarantees may give an indication of the expected durability of the product and this is investigated to explore if there is a positive correlation. The findings will further discuss the potential impacts of providing durability information and how this could enable manufacturers and consumers to shift towards a low material and energy future.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Alternative Title: Proceedings of the Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference, 17-19 June 2015
Proceedings of the PLATE Conference, 17-19 June 2015
Creators: Braithwaite, N., Densley-Tingley, D. and Moreno, M.
Publisher: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE
Place of Publication: Nottingham
Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780957600997
Rights: [© Nottingham Trent University 2015].
cc Proceedings are under a Creative Common License Number CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:09
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:23

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