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Electricity and water consumption for laundry washing by washing machine worldwide

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Washing laundry is one of the most widespread housework in the world. Today, washing machines do this work in many private households, using water, electricity, chemical substances, and process time. Although energy efficiency is in the focus of many regulations which have already achieved significant improvements, the question remains, how relevant these processes are in terms of the absolute impact on resources and whether there are possibilities to improve even further by looking abroad. This survey, which is based on published data, compares the energy and water consumption for automatic laundry washing in an average private household with the total energy and water consumption of private households. Only little data are available on resource consumption for laundry washing and reliable figures based on in-use measurements are hard to obtain. But although some of the data in this report are poor, this is the first work that tries to elucidate the contribution of automatic laundry washing to the total electricity and water consumption of households in selected countries worldwide. The report estimates the resource consumption of roughly 590,000,000 washing machines in 38 countries with about 2.3 billion people, which is about one third of the world population. The results of this work show that laundry washing in private households is done with quite different amounts of electricity and water in different parts of the world both in absolute and relative comparison to the overall household consumption. But due to different consumer habits in dealing with the achieved washing performance in the different global regions, the best practice in washing laundry in a most sustainable way cannot be determined yet. Further research is needed to form a basis for a most sustainable development of resource consumption in private households.
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Electricity and water consumption for laundry washing
by washing machine worldwide
Christiane Pakula &Rainer Stamminger
Received: 15 January 2009 /Accepted: 7 December 2009
#Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009
Abstract Washing laundry is one of the most wide-
spread housework in the world. Today, washing
machines do this work in many private households,
using water, electricity, chemical substances, and
process time. Although energy efficiency is in the focus
of many regulations which have already achieved
significant improvements, the question remains, how
relevant these processes are in terms of the absolute
impact on resources and whether there are possibilities
to improve even further by looking abroad. This survey,
which is based on published data, compares the energy
and water consumption for automatic laundry washing
in an average private household with the total energy
and water consumption of private households. Only
little data are available on resource consumption for
laundry washing and reliable figures based on in-use
measurements are hard to obtain. But although some of
the data in this report are poor, this is the first work that
tries to elucidate the contribution of automatic laundry
washing to the total electricity and water consumption
of households in selected countries worldwide. The
report estimates the resource consumption of roughly
590,000,000 washing machines in 38 countries with
about 2.3 billion people, which is about one third of the
world population. The results of this work show that
laundry washing in private households is done with
quite different amounts of electricity and water in
different parts of the world both in absolute and relative
comparison to the overall household consumption. But
due to different consumer habits in dealing with the
achieved washing performance in the different global
regions, the best practice in washing laundry in a
most sustainable way cannot be determined yet.
Further research is needed to form a basis for a most
sustainable development of resource consumption in
private households.
Keywords Energy consumption .Housework
practices .Laundry washing .Washing machine .
Sustainability .Water consumption .Consumer habits .
Global relevance
Introduction
Washing clothes, laundry, and other home textiles is
one of the most widespread housework in the world.
Years ago, it was hard mechanical work, and in some
regions of the world, it still is. Today, washing
machines do this work in many private households
worldwide using water, electricity, chemical substances,
and process time as resources. Due to different wash
habits and practices and different types of washing
Energy Efficiency
DOI 10.1007/s12053-009-9072-8
C. Pakula :R. Stamminger (*)
Household and Appliance Technology Section,
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn,
Nussallee 5,
53115 Bonn, Germany
e-mail: stamminger@uni-bonn.de
C. Pakula
e-mail: haushaltstechnik@uni-bonn.de
machines, the consumption of resources for laundry
washing by washing machine varies a lot. Figure 1
shows the main washing machine technologies which
are in use.
While in horizontal axis machines, only the bottom
of the wash tub is filled with water, in vertical axis
machines, traditionally, the whole tub is filled with
water. Therefore, horizontal axis machines consume
much less water per wash cycle than vertical axis
machines, while these are mostly run without heating,
especially in Asia, and therefore, consume much less
electricity per wash cycle than horizontal axis
machines with integrated heating. But indeed, the
main task of all types of washing machines is to
provide hygienically clean laundry and to preserve its
value. This so-called washing performance is not
included in our work and an assessment of the
different washing machine technologies besides the
electricity and water consumption is not intended.
For several years, the state of the art shown in Fig. 1
has been changing. Vertical axis machines are still
most widespread in America, Australia, and Asia. But
the share of horizontal axis machines in those markets
is rising steadily, e.g., in 2007, 22% of households
used a horizontal axis machine in Australia, while in
2005, it was only 13%. In some areas of the country,
horizontal axis machines make already 50% of the new
sales of washing machines (Australian Bureau of
Statistics 2008). Very often, horizontal axis machines
have a minimum program temperature of 30°C which
means that these machines use electricity to heat up
water even in the coldest program selectable.
The main scope of this work is the electricity and
water consumption for automatic laundry washing per
household, which is not influenced by the market
penetration of washing machines. But an estimation of
the total electricity and water consumption for automatic
laundry washing in the different regions covered in our
work seems to be interesting and is attempted in
the Electricity and water consumption for automatic
laundry washing by regionsection. The variation of
ownership rates is shown in Fig. 2.
The market of washing machines in industrial
countries is more or less saturated and the worldwide
market penetration is rising steadily. Nevertheless, in
many regions, like China, Turkey, or East Europe, the
ownership rate of washing machines is <70% (Fig. 2),
which means that, in about one third of the house-
holds in these countries, notable amounts of resources
are consumed for manual laundry washing or by
using manual washers. And although a washing
machine is available in some households, clothes are
frequently washed manually, e.g., in China (Procter &
Gamble, private communication).
Apart from the electricity and water consumption
of washing machines, the efficiency of the washing
process is determined by the washing performance. In
some countries where mostly cold wash programs are
used, e.g., in Japan, a lot of water and energy is spent
for pre- and post-treatments of laundry in addition to
the consumption of the washing machine (Nakaoka
and Sursadana 2002). In our assessment, the con-
sumptions for manual clothes washing and pre- and
post-treatments of laundry are not taken into consid-
Horizontal axis Vertical axis Vertical axis
with heating without heating without heating
Fig. 1 Global washing
systems (source: WFKRE
2006)
Energy Efficiency
eration; therefore, a fair comparison of countries is
not possible. But indeed, resource consumption for
manual laundry washing is an important and interest-
ing research area in respect to the global resource
consumption for laundry washing.
Although in a lot of vertical axis machines an
internal water heating is not possible, warm washes
can be done by using hot water from external sources.
The additional energy needed to heat up water from
the tap is not included in our calculations because it
can be done by other energy sources than electricity,
e.g., gas, coal, oil, or solar power. An assessment of
the energy consumption for external water heating is
difficult. It does not only depend on the different fuels
used but also on the average cold water temperature,
which in some regions of the world can reach 25°C and
can make washing with little water heating effective.
The electricity and water consumption for laundry
washing in private households is determined by the
technology of the washing machines and also by the
number of washes, the chosen wash temperature, and
the load size even in one single washing machine
model (Table 1, Fig. 3). Washing machine technolo-
gies are also changing because horizontal axis
washing machine technology is gaining market shares
in almost all markets worldwide. But as most markets
are already saturated, this is changing the stock of
machines only gradually. Wash habits and practices in
different countries of the world vary a lot and only
little reliable data about actual consumer behavior are
available. Data on water and electricity consumption
for automatic laundry washing are incomplete and
reliable figures from in-use measurements are hard to
obtain. Therefore, some of the data in this report are
poor and, in some cases, reasonable guesses had to be
made; but nevertheless, this work is the first attempt
to elucidate the contribution of automatic laundry
washing to the total electricity and water consumption
of households.
The main task of this work is the comparison of
the electricity and water consumption for laundry
washing by washing machine in relation to the total
97 100 99
86
61
66 63
94
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
West
Europe
East
Europe
Turkey North
America
Australia China South
Korea
Japan
Owner ship rate of washing machines in %.
Fig. 2 Ownership rate of
washing machines. Source:
Own calculation on the
basis of the following
sources: Australian Bureau
of Statistics (2008);
de Almeida et al. (2007);
DEHWA (2008b); GIFAM
(2006); Harrel (2003);
Nakaoka and Sudarsana
(2002); Togay (2002);
Yang (2006); ZVEI (2005);
Procter & Gamble, private
communication
Table 1 Distribution of washing machine technology and con-
sumer behavior
Region Technology
in the stock
Load size per
wash cycle (kg)
Most frequently
used wash
temperatures
(°C)
West
Europe
>98% HA 34 (75% of
machine capacity)
40
East
Europe
>98% HA 34 (75% of
machine capacity)
40
Turkey >90% HA 60
North
America
>90% VA 341548
Australia >75% VA 2040
China >90% VA 1.32 Cold water
South
Korea
>90% VA Cold water
Japan >97% VA 3 Cold water
Sources: de Almeida et al. (2007), Togay (2002), Nakaoka and
Sudarsana (2002), Harrel (2003), DEHWA (2008b), Australian
Bureau of Statistics (2008), Yang (2006), and Procter & Gamble,
private communication
HA horizontal axis, VA vertical axis
Energy Efficiency
electricity and water consumption of households. This
shall be done on a country by country basis based on
available data, but extended to the global picture as
good as possible using extrapolations and educated
guesses.
Material and methods
While the total electricity and water consumption of
the residential sector is mostly published by the
National Statistical Office of a country, accurate in-
use data on electricity and water consumption for
laundry washing by washing machine are often hard
to obtain. Energy efficiency for washing machines is
the focus of many regulations locally or regionally
(European Commission 1995; US Federal Register
2005; DEWHA 2008a). Within 10 years, improve-
ments in electricity and water efficiency of about 30%
have been revealed in the European horizontal axis
technology (European Commission 2005). Today, all
washing machines sold in Europe belong at least to
the energy label category A which is undoubtedly due
to the forced energy efficiency policy of the European
Union.
Therefore, the actual water and electricity consump-
tion per wash cycle depend very much on the age of the
washing machine. Accurate in-use data is not available
for all countries and, due to large differences to actual
measured consumptions per wash cycle, rated or
regulated values should not be used. In order to fill data
gaps, some reasonable assumptions had to be made, but
for some countries, the share of water consumption for
laundry washing could not be calculated and some
figures remain uncertain. These are marked clearly in
the report.
Figures for 38 countries, which are 31 European
countries, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, South
Korea, Turkey, and USA are included in our calculation.
The results are presented in diagrams assorted by typical
regions which are West Europe, East Europe, Turkey,
North America, Australia, China, South Korea, and
Japan. The most interesting figures are drawn up
alphabetically by country in Table 2. For several
countries, the same values are shown for, e.g., the
number of wash cycles, the electricity consumption per
load, and the water consumption per load. Due to
similar wash habits and practices, household sizes,
and washing machine technologies in different
countries of the same cultural region, these assump-
tions seem to be reasonable. And although quite a
few values are identical, the figures of these
countries remain interesting because the total elec-
tricity and water consumption and thus the share for
automatic laundry washing vary. Finally, the results
are given as mean values to make figures compara-
ble but it should always be recognized that real
consumer behavior is a series of distributions rather
than means.
Number of wash cycles per household
The calculation of the electricity and water consump-
tion for clothes washing by washing machine requests
211
289
100
208
260
173165
520
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
West
Europe
East
Europe
Turkey North
America
Australia China South
Korea
Japan
Yearly number of wash cycles per household.
Fig. 3 Yearly number of
wash cycles per household.
Source: Own calculation on
the basis of the following
sources: Australian Bureau
of Statistics (2008);
Harrel (2003); Nakaoka
and Sudarsana
(2002); Rüdenauer and
Grießhammer (2004);
Wan g ( 2006); Yang (2006);
Procter & Gamble, private
communication
Energy Efficiency
information about laundry washing habits and practi-
ces, like the number of wash cycles run per year, the
chosen wash temperature, and the average load size.
Only little data are available concerning the actual
load washed per wash cycle. A recent metering study
in 100 German households (Berkholz et al. 2006)
reports rising load sizes per wash cycle with rising
household sizes. Within the European project Resi-
dential Monitoring to Decrease Energy Use and
Carbon Emissions in Europe(REMODECE), wash
habits in about 500 households in five European
countries have been observed. The report on the project
states that the vast majority of the households always
use the washing machine at over 75% of its capacity
(de Almeida et al. 2007). More detailed information
about actual load sizes per wash cycle is given in
the Water consumption per householdsection.
It can be assumed that the total number of wash
cycles increase with increasing number of persons
living in a household, while the number of washes per
person living in the household decreases with rising
household sizes. This is supported by Berkholz who
has measured the total electricity consumption for
laundry washing in 100 households for 1 month to be
at 1,045.5 kWh and the average consumption per
cycle at 0.89 kWh (average load, 5 kg). Extrapolated
to 1 year, this leads to an annual electricity consump-
tion of 125 kWh and 141 wash cycles per household.
The report shows a nearly linear increase of wash
cycles in dependence of the household size, with a
distribution of 2.1 washes per week in a single
household up to seven washes per week in a six-
person household.
The German Öko-Institut has published 164 wash
cycles per year for an average household in the region
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with a distribution
of 111 wash cycles per year for a single household up
to 211 wash cycles per year for a four-person house-
hold (Rüdenauer and Grießhammer 2004). The report
suggests accepting these figures for all European
countries as long as reliable figures from in-use
measurements are not available.
In contrast to the above-mentioned figures, other
sources report much more wash cycles per household,
e.g., Stamminger and Goerdeler published 4.5 washes
per week (234 per year) in an average household in
Germany, based on an online questioning of more
than 2,000 persons (Stamminger and Goerdeler
2007). The Preparatory Studies for Eco-Design
Requirements of Energy-Using Products (EuP) have
investigated among others the consumer behavior
with washing machines. The data were collected with
an online consumer questionnaire in 10 European
countries and 4.9 wash cycles per household per week
(254 per year) were reported (Presutto et al. 2007).
The report on the European REMODECE project
states 270 wash cycles per year (de Almeida et al.
2007). The examples show that the available infor-
mation sometimes is contradictory. The best guess
seems to be the adaption of the number of wash
cycles to the household size. Therefore, the number of
wash cycles in our work has been calculated on basis
of the information published by the German Öko-
Institut as presented in Table 3.
The information used for the calculation of values
for the non-European countries has been taken from
regional reports about laundry habits and practices
(Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008; Harrel 2003;
Nakaoka and Sudarsana 2002; Wang 2006; Yang
2006; Procter & Gamble, private communication).
The number of wash cycles per household per year
is presented in Fig. 3. Obviously, Australia, Japan,
and North America run more wash cycles than
households in Europe. This seems to correlate with
the frequent use of cold washing programs. But cold
washes are also widespread in China and South
Korea, and in both countries, the number of wash
cycles per household per year is relatively low. While
an explanation for South Korea is still missing, the
low number of wash cycles in Chinese households is
due to the frequent manual washing of clothes
although a washing machine is available (Wang
2006). The leading country regarding the number of
wash cycles with about 10 loads per week is Japan,
which is obviously caused by the common use of very
short and cold washing programs and a relatively low
load size (Nakaoka and Sudarsana 2002). The report
Energy Use in the Australian Residential Sector
19862020publishes 312 wash cycles per year (six
washes per week) for Australian households (DEHWA
2008b), while the Australian Bureau of Statistics
reports that about 75% of Australian households run
five or less wash cycles per week (Australian Bureau
of Statistics 2008). Due to decreasing household sizes
and a rising number of horizontal axis machines
in the Australian market, the estimation of five wash
cycles per week (260 cycles per year) seems to be
reasonable.
Energy Efficiency
Table 2 Most interesting figures by country
Number of
households
Household
size
Owner
ship rate
of
washing
machines
Wash
cycles
per
year
Electricity
consumption
per
household
Electricity
consumption
per wash
cycle
a
Electricity
consumption
for clothes
washing per
household
per year
Electricity
consumption
for clothes
washing in
relation to total
electricity
consumption
per household
Water
consumption
per
household
Water
consumption
per wash
cycle
Water
consumption
for clothes
washing per
household
per year
Wat e r
consumption
for clothes
washing in
relation to
water
consumption
per
household
Unit ×1,000 % MWh kWh
b
kWh
b
%
b
m
3
L
b
m
3b
%
b
Austria 3,342.3 2.5 95 164 4.5 0.87 142.7 3.2 107.1 60 9.8 9.2
Australia 8,300.0 2.5 97 260 6.9 0.34 88.4 1.3 247.1 106 27.6 11.2
Belgium 4,408.7 2.4 95 165 3.9 0.92 151.8 3.9 89.8 60 9.9 11.0
Bulgaria 2,992.0 2.7 44 165 2.9 0.97 160.1 5.5 89.6 60 9.9 11.0
Canada 11,562.9 2.6 82 289 13.1 0.43 124.3 1.0 283.0 144 41.6 14.7
China 367,617.0 3.4 61 100 1.2
c
0.10 10.0 0.8 167.5
d
99 9.9 5.9
Croatia 1,478.0 3.0 65 177 4.1 0.97 171.7 4.2 127.2 60 10.6 8.3
Cyprus 248.0 3.0 95 177 5.3 1.35 239.0 4.5
e
Czech Republic 4,216.1 2.4 60 165 3.5 0.97 160.1 4.6 88.6 60 9.9 11.2
Denmark 2,480.8 2.2 79 165 4.2 0.95 156.8 3.8 102.0 60 9.9 9.7
Estonia 582.0 2.3 78 165 2.8 0.97 160.1 5.7 48.8 60 9.9 20.3
Finland 2,295.5 2.2 89 165 9.2 0.89 146.9 1.6 176.0 60 9.9 5.6
France 24,523.0 2.4 97 165 6.0 0.94 155.1 2.6 139.2 60 9.9 7.1
Germany 39,122.0 2.1 95 164 3.6 0.87 142.7 4.0 100.2 60 9.8 9.8
Greece 3,664.0 3.0 95 177 4.6 1.35 239.0 5.2 47.8 60 10.6 22.2
Hungary 3,863.0 2.6 70 165 2.9 0.97 160.1 5.5 101.0 60 9.9 9.8
Iceland 116.2 2.5 95 165 5.8 1.03 170.0 2.9 258.2 60 9.9 3.8
Energy Efficiency
consumption
per household
consumption
per
household
Unit ×1,000 % MWh kWh
b
kWh
b
%
b
m
3
L
b
m
3b
%
b
Ireland 1,288.0 2.9 95 177 5.8 1.13 200.0 3.4
e
Italy 23,310.6 2.5 95 165 2.8 1.05 173.3 6.1 226.2 60 9.9 4.4
Japan 48,225.0 2.7 99 520 5.4 0.10 52.0 1.0 339.5 120 62.4 18.4
Korea 13,770.0 3.4 100 208 7.5 0.37 77.0 1.0 573.7 140 29.1 5.1
Latvia 803.0 2.9 65 177 1.8 0.97 171.7 9.5 61.0 60 10.6 17.4
Lithuania 1,357.0 2.5 82 165 1.5 0.97 160.1 10.5 31.7 60 9.9 31.2
Luxembourg 172.0 2.6 95 165 4.4 0.93 153.5 3.5 180.2 60 9.9 5.5
Malta 128.0 3.1 82 177 4.8 0.97 171.7 3.6
e
Netherlands 7,049.0 2.3 98 165 3.3 0.88 145.2 4.4 102.9 60 9.9 9.6
Norway 1,962.5 2.3 89 165 17.0
f
1.04 171.6 1.0 152.4 60 9.9 6.5
Poland 13,337.0 2.9 76 177 1.7 0.97 171.7 10.1 96.3 60 10.6 11.0
Portugal 3,651.0 2.9 85 177 3.4 0.89 157.5 4.6 201.0 60 10.6 5.3
Romania 7,320.0 3.0 51 177 1.1 0.97 171.7 15.6 97.5 60 10.6 10.9
Slovakia 1,900.0 2.8 60 177 2.5 0.97 171.7 6.9
e
Slovenia 685.0 2.9 98 177 4.4 0.97 171.7 3.9 129.2 60 10.6 8.2
Spain 14,187.0 3.0 95 165 4.1 0.59 97.4 2.4 193.8 60 9.9 5.1
Sweden 4,576.0 1.9 83 140 9.0 0.95 133.0 1.5 114.9 60 8.4 7.3
Switzerland 3,115.0 2.4 95 165 5.2 0.99 163.4 3.1 201.3 60 9.9 4.9
Turkey 16,744.0 4.1 63 211 1.7 1.35 284.9 16.8
e
60
UK 25,564.0 2.3 93 165 4.5 1.14 188.1 4.2
e
USA 112,000.0 2.6 86 289 11.5 0.43 124.3 1.1 534.3 144 41.6 7.8
a
No external resources considered
b
Own calculation based on published data. All sources are mentioned in the Material and methodssection
c
Uncertain figure calculated on the basis of the nonofficial information (das Zeitbild) that the electricity consumption of Chinese households is about 10% of the US household
consumption
d
Uncertain figure calculated on basis of total water consumption of the domestic sector in China published by US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
2005
e
No data available
f
High electricity consumption reported by Eurostat 2005, by Statistics Norway (2005), and by de Almeida et al. (2007)
Energy Efficiency
Electricity consumption per household
In 2002, IBM reported data on the average electricity
consumption per wash cycle. In 16 European countries,
a representative sample of households was questioned
about their wash habits and practices focussing on dif-
ferent wash temperatures (IBM 2002). The average age
of washing machines in German households is reported
to be at about 7 years (Berkholz et al. 2006). This is
close to the information given in the REMODECE
report that about 50% of washing machines in
European households are <5 years old, 30% are
between 6 and 10 years old, and 20% are older than
10 years (de Almeida et al. 2007). Therefore, it seems
to be fair to use the average electricity consumption per
wash cycle published by IBM in 2002. For some
European countries, mainly the New Member States,
no specific information is available; therefore, an
electricity consumption of 0.97 kWh has been calcu-
lated on the basis of the IBM figures (Appendix 1).
For the non-European countries, information about
the electricity consumption per wash cycle has been
taken from published reports about laundry habits and
practices (Harrel 2003; Nakaoka and Sudarsana 2002;
Togay 2002; Wang 2006; Yang 2006; Procter &
Gamble, private communication). These reports do
not provide accurate in-use data but consider different
wash programs and water temperatures as well as
different machine technologies and refer to the
existing stock of washing machines. Data for China
and South Korea could be further improved by
personal contact to experts in these countries. Very
recently, in-use measured data for automatic laundry
washing in Australia have been published, but as such
information is not available for all countries in this
report, all figures are calculated on the basis of the
number of wash cycles and the electricity consump-
tion per load. The value of 0.34 kWh per wash cycle
is calculated on the basis of the published information
that more than 70% of wash cycles in Australian
households are cold washes (Australian Bureau of
Statistics 2008; DEHWA 2008b).
The total electricity consumption per household is
calculated on the basis of figures about the electricity
consumption of the residential sector published by the
National Statistic Office of the country and region
(Adato Energia Oy 2006; Eurostat 2006a; OECD
2005;STATCAN2006; Statistics Norway 2005;
Statistics Bureau Japan 2006b; Statistisches Bundesamt
Schweiz 2006; Yang 2006).
Water consumption per household
While quite topical data regarding the electricity
consumption of households have been found, topical
or even any reliable data about the water consumption
of private households are not available for all countries.
The lacking information is due to the fact that, in some
countries like Turkey or China, large parts of the
population are not connected to the public water supply
or the water consumption per household is not
measured like, e.g., in UK. The total water consump-
tion per household is calculated on the basis of figures
about the water consumption of the residential sector
published by the National Statistic Office of the
country and region (Appendix 2;Eurostat2006b;
OECD 2005; Yang 2006).
The average water consumption per wash cycle
mainly depends on the washing machine technology.
Vertical axis machines consume about twice as much
as horizontal machines per wash cycle. Modern
washing machines with horizontal axis technology
often have an automatic load sensing function in order
to reduce water and electricity consumption in
response to consumer loads that are smaller than the
rated capacity. Most vertical axis machines also have
automatic water level settings or the water level can
be set manually by the user. Although until today no
systematic assessment of part load performance has
been carried out, the availability of the function might
lead to the expectation that the actual water consump-
tion per wash cycle is remarkably lower than the rated
value provided that the consumer does not use the full
capacity of the washing machine. In 2006, Berkholz
measured the actual load size of 1,265 wash cycles
(Table 4; Berkholz et al. 2006).
Obviously, for white and colored clothes with hot
wash programs, the capacity of the washing machine
Table 3 Number of wash cycles per household per year
Household size (no. of persons) Number of wash cycles
<2.2 140
2.22.7 165
>2.7 177
Source: Own estimation based on Rüdenauer and Grießhammer
(2004)
Energy Efficiency
is not fully used, while the load sizes are quite large for
easy care and delicates which are washed with warm or
cold water temperatures. This is supported by the
report on the European REMODECE project, which
states that the vast majority of the consumers observed
in the project always use the washing machine at over
75% of its capacity (de Almeida et al. 2007).
A survey on the US laundry market published by
Harrel in 2003 reports water level settings of 3,142
wash cycles in American households. The load diary
data shows that more than 50% of the cycles were run
with large and extra large water level, about 30% of
the washes were done with medium/normal water
level, and only 10% with low water level. The options
extra low and mini-basket were not used at all (Harrel
2003). These observations do only show consumer
behavior in Germany and United States, the behavior
in other countries might be different. But obviously,
it is too early to confirm that washing machines
frequently use less water than rated due to low wash
loads or low water level settings.
Stamminger et al. (2005) published an average
water consumption of 59 L per wash cycle with a
load size of 5 kg for washing machines built in 2000.
The German Öko-Institut reports 61 L for washing
machines in stock in 2006 (Rüdenauer et al. 2006).
As reliable in-use measurement data are not available
up to now and part load performance has not yet been
analyzed, the rated values of water consumption per
wash cycle seem to be the best guess. Therefore, an
average consumption per wash cycle of 60 L is
estimated for all European countries in this study
without taking the actual average load size and water
setting level into consideration.
For the non-European countries, the value for the
water consumption per wash cycle has been taken
from published reports about laundry habits and
practices (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008;
DEWHA 2008b; Wang 2006; Harrel 2003; Togay
2002; Nakaoka and Sudarsana 2002; Yang 2006;
Procter & Gamble, private communication), which
consider different machine technologies and refer to
the existing stock of washing machines but no load sizes
and water level settings are considered either. Data for
China and South Korea could be further improved by
personal contact to experts in these countries. It is
known that Japanese washing machines are often filled
with used water from a bath which contains more or less
residual heat. This very special practice can only be
mentioned because no reliable quantification of energy
and water taken from this source is available.
Electricity and water consumption per region
The choice of countries included in our calculations is
limited by the available information about wash
habits and practices and also by the availability of
reliable data about the electricity and water consump-
tion of households, whereas demographic figures like
the population number, the household size, and the
number of households are available from reliable
sources for all countries in this survey. The informa-
tion is taken from Statistisches Jahrbuch für das
Ausland(Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland 2006)
and, for Japan, from Household and Household
Members(Statistics Bureau Japan 2006a). Taking
the ownership rate of washing machines into consid-
eration and multiplying the number of households
owning a washing machine with the electricity and
water consumption for automatic laundry washing
shown in Figs. 5(the Electricity consumption for
automatic laundry washing per householdsection)
and 9(the Water consumption for automatic laundry
washing per householdsection), the total amount of
electricity and water consumed for automatic laundry
washing by region can be estimated.
Results
Electricity consumption for automatic laundry
washing per household
The electricity consumption for laundry washing mainly
depends on the average washing temperature. Whether a
household washes with low temperatures or primarily
Table 4 Wash load per wash cycle in different wash programs
Whites/colored,
full capacity
46kg
Easy care,
full capacity
1.53kg
Delicates,
full capacity
0.52kg
Less capacity
used (%)
80 25
Full capacity
used (%)
20 53 35
Overloaded (%) 22 65
Source: Berkholz et al. (2006)
Energy Efficiency
chooses high temperature washing programs depends
on one hand on the technical standard of the washing
machine and energy supply and on the other hand on the
traditional wash habits and practices in the respective
region. Figure 4shows that large differences in the
electricity consumption per wash cycle do exist.
In North America, Australia, China, South Korea,
and Japan, the electricity consumption per wash cycle
is low. In these countries, vertical axis machines are
widely spread which use cold water or warm water
from the tap which is not heated by the washing
machine furthermore. Due to the methodical basis of
this report, the additional energy used to heat up water
from external sources is not included. Studies about
wash habits and practices in these countries show that
wash temperatures are significantly lower than in
countries with mainly horizontal axis technology
(DEHWA 2008b; Harrel 2003; Togay 2002; Yang
2006; Procter & Gamble, private communication). A
good cleaning performance needs a minimum amount
of energy input, which is mechanical work, thermal
energy, chemicals, and time. Presuming a constant
cleaning performance, the reduction of one of these
four compounds leads to an increase of the others. In
countries with low electricity consumption per wash
cycle, a good cleaning performance is often achieved by
an additional input of chemical and mechanical energy
outside the washing machine. Pre- and post-treatment
processes which are mostly done manually increase the
consumption of water and, when done with warm water,
energy as well as the time spent on laundry washing.
Although 95% of washing machines in North
America are vertical axis machines, the average
washing temperature is reported to be at about 30°C
(Harrel 2003), which causes an electricity consump-
tion of about 0.43 kWh per wash cycle. This might
include warm water from the tap and thus energy
from external resources which cannot be quantified.
In West and East Europe and Turkey, the state of
the art is horizontal axis washing machines with inte-
grated heating rods. Turkish households have the
highest electricity consumption per wash cycle as they
are using high wash temperatures more frequently.
Following a study about wash habits and practices in
Turkey (Togay 2002),Turkishhouseholdswashmore
than 75% of their laundry at water temperatures higher
than 50°C and, out of this, 25% at more than 85°C. In
Germany, e.g., the average wash temperature is at 46°C
and only 6% of the laundry is done at more than 60°C
(Stamminger and Goerdeler 2007).
Based on the number of wash cycles and the
electricity consumption per wash cycle, the yearly
electricity consumption for laundry washing per house-
hold has been calculated as shown in Fig. 5.
Due to the larger household size and thus higher
number of wash cycles in East European countries,
the electricity consumption is slightly higher than in
West European countries. The high value for Turkey
is caused by the large household size and frequently
used high washing temperatures and thus high energy
consumption per wash cycle. Very recently, a report
on energy consumption of the residential sector in
0,97
0,10
0,37
0,10
0,43
0,34
0,95
1,35
0,00 0,20 0,40 0,60 0,80 1,00 1,20 1,40
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
Turkey
East Europe
West Europe
Electricity consumption per wash cycle in kWh
Fig. 4 Electricity consump-
tion per wash cycle. Source:
Own calculation on the
basis of the following
sources: Harrel (2003); IBM
(2002); Nakaoka and
Sudarsana (2002); Togay
(2002); Yang (2006); Wang
(2006); Procter & Gamble,
private communication
Energy Efficiency
Australia has been published which estimates 2.58 PJ
of energy for automatic clothes washing in Australia
in 2008 (DEWHA 2008b). Converted to kilowatt hour
per year and household, this fits the calculated
consumption of 88.4 kWh quite well.
Comparing the electricity consumption for laundry
washing with the total electricity consumption, it gets
obvious that only a small part of the electricity bill of
private households is caused by the washing machine
(Fig. 6).
An average North American household has the
highest total electricity consumption among the
countries surveyed and also Korean, Japanese, Aus-
tralian, and West European households consume quite
a lot of electricity compared to households in China,
1
Turkey, and East Europe. The relation between the
total electricity consumption and the electricity con-
sumption for laundry washing becomes more expressive
by regarding the shares expressed as a percentage which
are presented in Fig. 7.
The large difference of the share between West
European (3.8%) and East European (9.2%) house-
holds is caused by the much lower total electricity
consumption of East European households. Due to the
relatively high electricity consumption for laundry
washing and a low total electricity consumption of
only 1.7 MWh per household and year, on basis of
our calculation, Turkish households spent more than
16% of their expenditures for electricity on laundry
washing.
2
But as the ownership rate of washing
machines is only 63% and the total electricity
consumption refers to all households in Turkey, it
might be that this share is too high. Households in
urban areas who own a washing machine probably
have higher total electricity consumption than the
average value published by Eurostat in 2006. In North
America, Australia, and Asia, the share for laundry
washing is only about 1% of the total electricity bill.
The rising market penetration of horizontal axis
machines with integrated heating in these countries
might increase the share for automatic laundry washing
in the near future, especially in countries where energy
saving projects will be carried out in order to reduce
the total electricity consumption of households.
Water consumption for automatic laundry washing
per household
As well as the electricity consumption for laundry
washing, the volume of water consumption is influ-
enced by the technical standard of the washing machine
and by the behavior of the user, e.g., the number of wash
cycles run per week.
52,0
156,2
77,0
167,8
284,9
88,4
10,0
124,3
0,0 50,0 100,0 150,0 200,0 250,0 300,0
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
Turkey
East Europe
West Europe
Yearly electricity consumption for laundry washing per household in kWh
Fig. 5 Yearly electricity
consumption for laundry
washing per household.
Source: Own calculation
based on the figures shown
in Figs. 3and 4
1
Uncertain figure calculated on basis of the nonofficial informa-
tion (das Zeitbild) that the electricity consumption of Chinese
households is about 10% of the US household consumption.
2
The Turkish household size is 4.1 persons, which leads to the
high number of 211 wash cycles. The electricity consumption per
wash cycle is about 1.35 kWh, which is quite high, and in
contrast, the total electricity consumption is only 1.7 MWh/year.
This constellation causes the very high share of 16.8%.
Energy Efficiency
Figure 8shows that European washing machines
use less water per wash cycle than washing machines
in America, Australia, and Asia, which is caused by
the fact that, in Europe, only horizontal axis machines
are in use. On the basis of the information that about
75% of washing machines in Australia are vertical
axis machines (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008;
DEWHA 2008b) with more than 120 L water con-
sumption per wash cycle and only 25% are horizontal
axis machines with a consumption of about 60 L
per load, an average consumption of 106 L has been
calculated.
Due to the economical water consumption of
European washing machines, households in Europe
use less water for clothes washing per year than most
other countries as shown in Fig. 9. Households in
China consume as little water as European households
because of their low number of wash cycles. The high
water consumption shown for Japan is caused on one
hand by the high number of wash cycles and on the
other hand by the high water consumption of the
vertical axis technology. The amount of 62.4 m
3
of
water for laundry washing in Japanese households is
probably too high if it is presumed that only potable
water is used for laundry washing. Japanese house-
holds frequently fill used water from a bath into the
washing machine, which cannot be counted as potable
water but as water which is used for laundry washing.
Concerning the total water consumption of house-
holds, large differences between the different coun-
tries do exist. As shown in Fig. 10, South Korean,
North American, and Japanese households consume
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
Turkey
East Europe
West Europe
Yearly electricity consumption for laundry washing and yearly total electricity consumption
per household in MWh
Electricity consumption for
laundry washing
Total electricity
consumption per household
Fig. 6 Yearly electricity
consumption for laundry
washing and yearly total
electricity consumption per
household. Source: Own
calculation based on the
following sources: total
electricity consumption:
Adato Energia Oy (2006);
Eurostat (2006a); OECD
(2005); STATCAN (2006);
Statistics Norway (2005);
Statistics Bureau Japan
(2006b); Statistisches
Bundesamt Schweiz (2006);
Yang (2006); electricity
consumption for laundry
washing as per Fig. 5
16,8
0,8
1,1
1,3
9,2
3,8
1,0
1,0
0,0 2,0 4,0 6,0 8,0 10,0 12,0 14,0 16,0 18,0
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
Turkey
East Europe
West Europe
Share of electricity consumption for laundry washing in percent
Fig. 7 Share of electricity
consumption for clothes
washing per household.
Source: Own calculation as
per Fig. 6
Energy Efficiency
much more water than European,
3
Chinese,
4
and
Australian households. The share of water consump-
tion for laundry washing varies between 5% and 19%
and depends on the water consumption per wash
cycle and on the total water consumption of the
household. The volume of water used for laundry
washing influences the total water consumption of
households in all countries significantly.
The relation between the total water consumption
of households and the water consumption for clothes
washing becomes more expressive by regarding the
shares expressed as a percentage which are presented
in Fig. 11. The rising market share of horizontal axis
machines in Asia, Australia, and North America is
expected to increase the electricity consumption for
laundry washing, but it will probably reduce the water
consumption for automatic laundry washing notably
in the near future.
Electricity and water consumption for automatic
laundry washing by region
With the collected data, not only the contribution of
resources consumed for automatic laundry washing
to the total electricity and water bill of a single
household can be estimated but also the total amount
of electricity and water consumed for automatic
laundry washing in the regions surveyed in our report.
Table 5presents an overview about the total number
of households owning a washing machine and the
electricity and water consumption for automatic
laundry washing in the different regions and in total.
Taking the ownership rate into consideration, this
covers roughly 780,000,000 households with about 2.3
billion people living in the regions included in this
report, which is about one third of the world population.
The global electricity and water consumption of washing
machines may be at maximum twice as high (about 100
TWh electricity and 20 km
3
=20,000,000,000 m
3
water),
as in most countries outside of our investigation laundry
washing is still done by hand.
Conclusion
Summing up the results, it can be said that huge
differences regarding electricity and water consumption
for automatic laundry washing do exist. Reasons for
these variations are different numbers of wash cycles per
year, different wash temperatures, and different technol-
ogies like horizontal and vertical axis washing machines.
The quantification of the electricity and water input
is difficult as traditional wash habits and practices
vary a lot. Japanese households, for example, need
more water for laundry washing than any other
country, but not only potable water is used and the
amount of reused water from a bath remains un-
known. European households consume the least
3
The figures for Europe are incomplete. UK does not provide
information about water consumption of households because,
in most buildings, water meters are missing. Ireland, Cyprus,
Malta, and Slovakia could also not be considered, but as weighted
averages are calculated, the influence on the result is not
significant.
4
Uncertain figure calculated on the basis of total water consump-
tion of the domestic sector in China published by the U.S.
Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
2005.
120
99
106
60
60
144
140
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
East Europe
West Europe
Water consumption per wash c
y
cle in litre
Fig. 8 Water consumption
per wash cycle. Source:
Own calculation on the
basis of the following
sources: Harrel (2003);
Nakaoka and Sudarsana
(2002); Rüdenauer et al.
(2006); Stamminger et al.
(2005); Togay (2002); Yang
(2006); Wang (2006);
Procter & Gamble, private
communication
Energy Efficiency
62,4
29,1
9,9
41,6
10,4
9,9
27,6
0 10203040506070
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
East Europe
West Europe
Yearly water consumption for laundry washin
g
per household in m3
Fig. 9 Yearly wate r c o n -
sumption for clothes wash-
ing per household. Source:
Own calculation based on the
figures shown in Figs. 3
and 8
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
East Europe
West Europe
Yearly water consumption for laundry washing and yearly total water consumption per
household in m3
Water consumption for laundry
washing per household
Total water consumption per
household
Fig. 10 Yearly water con-
sumption for laundry wash-
ing and yearly total water
consumption per household.
Source: Own calculation
based on the following
sources: total water con-
sumption: Eurostat (2006b);
OECD (2005); Yang (2006);
water consumption for
laundry washing as
per Fig. 9
5,1
5,9
11,2
8,4
11,8
7,8
18,4
0 5 10 15 20
Japan
South Korea
China
Australia
North America
East Europe
West Europe
Share of water consumption for laundry washin
g
in percent
Fig. 11 Share of water con-
sumption for clothes wash-
ing per household. Source:
Own calculation as per
Fig. 10
Energy Efficiency
amount of water for laundry washing due to the
horizontal axis technology. Because of the very low
number of machine wash cycles in Chinese house-
holds, the electricity and water consumption for
automatic laundry washing is low. But, as household
saturation with washing machines is low and, even
when owning a washing machine, manual washing is
quite common in China, the overall electricity and
water consumption for all laundry washing may be a
factor of 3 to 4 higher as estimated here for using
washing machines alone. This may be the case also
for other countries, e.g., South Korea and Japan
where high levels of pre- and post-treatments of
laundry are reported which take off some of the
cleaning process from the washing machine. This
leads to the question of the washing performance
which is achieved by the washing machine and if this
is sufficient for consumer needs. High levels of
washing treatments outside the washing machine
indicate a low level of washing performance provided
by these machines. These additional processes con-
sume also relevant amounts of water and energy
which are not considered in this investigation. To
provide a complete picture on the resources used for
laundry washing, also the use of detergent (inside the
washing machine, but also for manual washing and
pre-treatment) should be considered. A selection of
those countries as world championwhich have the
lowest consumption is too premature, as it lacks the
information on the achieved washing performance
and additional resources used for washing processes
of laundry outside the machine. But there are for sure
plenty of opportunities to learn from each other in
having the laundry process done in a most sustainable
way. Energy efficiency and water efficiency gains in
Europe show that good policies on energy and water
consumption can foster sustainable development.
Large parts of the world map remain unconsidered
in our report, e.g., South and Middle America, Africa,
Russia, India, and Indonesia. Investigations about the
electricity and water consumption of the residential
sectors in these regions are incomplete and informa-
tion about laundry habits and practices is rare. Low
living standards in most of those countries and low
ownership rates of washing machines can be assumed
and thus the contribution of automatic laundry washing
to the total electricity and water bill of households is
probably low. But in some of those countries, the
accelerated economic development will lead to rising
living standards and thus to a rising number of washing
machines in private households. Research about
laundry habits and practices is necessary, especially in
those countries where a rising stock of washing
machines in private households can be expected, in
order to form a basis for a sustainable development.
The example of laundry washing makes clear that
research, preferably in-use measurement, is needed in
order to improve housework in all household processes.
Learning about different housework and its influence on
the energy and water consumption of households in all
relevant countries is necessary to understand how
resources are used and can be optimized in private
households. Best practices for doing all kinds of
housework with minimum amount of resources should
be identified and disseminated to help in improving
housework habits and practices.
Acknowledgement This work was supported by Henkel KGaA,
Germany.
Appendix 1: calculation of electricity consumption
The total electricity consumption, the electricity con-
sumption for automatic laundry washing, and the share
Tab l e 5 Electricity and water consumption for automatic
laundry washing by region
Region Households
owning a
washing
machine
(×1,000)
Electricity
consumption
for automatic
laundry
washing
(TWh)
Water
consumption
for automatic
laundry
washing
(km
3
)
West Europe 155,000 24.2 1.5
East Europe 25,500 4.3 0.3
Turkey 10,500 3.0 0.1
North America 106,000 13.2 4.3
Australia 7,500 0.7 0.2
China 225,000 2.3 2.2
South Korea 14,000 1.1 0.4
Japan 48,000 2.5 3.0
Total 590,000 51.1 12.0
Source: Own calculation based on following sources: Statistisches
Bundesamt Deutschland (2006) and Statistics Bureau Japan
(2006a,b); electricity and water consumption per household as
per Figs. 5and 9multiplied by the number of households owning
a washing machine
Energy Efficiency
for automatic laundry washing are calculated by the
following equations. As all results refer to the resource
consumption per household per year, the ownership
rate of washing machines by country is only a
component of the equations describing weighted
averages.
Total electricity consumption per household:
Ce¼Et
nh
ð1Þ
C
e
total electricity consumption per household,
E
t
total electricity consumption of residential sector
per country,
n
h
number of households.
Electricity consumption for laundry washing by
washing machine per household:
ce¼nwc ce=wc ð2Þ
c
e
electricity consumption for laundry washing by
washing machine per household,
n
wc
yearly number of wash cycles per household,
c
e/wc
electricity consumption per wash cycle.
The share of electricity consumption for laundry
washing in relation to the total electricity consump-
tion per household:
ze¼ce
Ce
ð3Þ
z
e
share of electricity consumption for laundry
washing by washing machine,
c
e
electricity consumption for laundry washing by
washing machine per household/country,
C
e
total electricity consumption per household/
country.
Aggregated figures for West Europe, East Europe,
and North America are calculated as weighted averages:
Example: electricity consumption for laundry wash-
ing by washing machine in West Europe:
ceWE ¼
P
20
i¼1
nwci ce=wci rni
NWE ð4Þ
ceWE average electricity consumption for laundry
washing by washing machine per household in
West European countries,
n
wci
number of wash cycles per household/country,
c
e/wci
electricity consumption per wash cycle per
household/country,
rowner ship rate of washing machines,
n
i
number of households per country,
N
WE
number of households in West Europe.
Appendix 2: calculation of water consumption
The total water consumption, the water consumption
for laundry washing, and the share for laundry washing
have been calculated by the following equations. All
figures refer to the resource consumption per house-
hold per year; therefore, the ownership rate is only a
component of the equations describing weighted
averages.
Total water consumption per household:
Cw¼Wt
nh
ð5Þ
C
w
total water consumption per household,
W
t
total water consumption of residential sector per
country,
n
h
number of households.
Water consumption for laundry washing by wash-
ing machine per household:
cw¼nwcw=wc ð6Þ
c
w
water consumption for laundry washing by
washing machine,
n
w
yearly number of wash cycles per household,
c
w/wc
water consumption per wash cycle.
Water consumption for laundry washing by wash-
ing machine in relation to the total water consumption
per household:
zw¼cw
Cw
ð7Þ
z
w
share of water consumption for laundry washing
by washing machine,
c
w
water consumption for laundry washing by
washing machine per household/country,
C
w
total water consumption per household/country.
Energy Efficiency
Aggregated figures for West Europe, East Europe,
and North America are calculated as weighted averages:
Example: water consumption for laundry washing
by washing machine in West Europe:
cwWE ¼
P
20
i¼1
nwci cw=wci rni
NWE
ð8Þ
cwWE average water consumption for laundry
washing by washing machine per household
in West European countries,
n
wci
number of wash cycles per household/
country,
c
w/wci
water consumption per wash cycle per
household/country,
rowner ship rate of washing machines
n
i
number of households per country,
N
WE
number of households in West Europe.
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Energy Efficiency
... The second theme for which we identified antecedents is household water consumption. The first category of antecedents is related to ways of making household appliances more environmentally efficient [52,89,90] in order to counteract relatively high household water and energy consumption. The second category of antecedents involves ways to make housing more sustainable [90] and perform green renovations [58]. ...
... Studies focused on households were largely concerned with analysing home appliances. Past researches examined how dishwashers can be energyefficient and waste less water [89,90,106], while others did the same with washing machines [52]. Similarly, Brunzell [107] investigated technological household improvements that can reduce water consumption, while Retamal and Schandl [93] investigated the most efficient methods for doing laundry. ...
... For the household theme, the outcomes mainly referred to home equipment. For example, studies examining the effectiveness of household appliances reached the conclusion that dishwashers [89,90,106] and washing machines [52,93] can actually reduce household water consumption. However, other studies suggested that consumers should be educated and technology should be improved [109] in order to make household appliances more efficient. ...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable water management has vital ramifications for people’s societal, economic and environmental future. To advance research in this domain, this article synthesizes the current state of knowledge regarding water resource management in the residential context. The aim of this paper is to identify research gaps and future research directions for residential water management in order to recommend solutions against water scarcity. To that end, this article applies bibliometric analysis and the Antecedents, Decisions and Outcomes (ADO) framework to the literature on residential sustainable water management. We reviewed the most impactful journals, most frequently cited articles, keyword trends and density-centrality maps. The in-depth analysis on 114 articles underscored three orientations for residential water usage and management: urban, household and consumer. Based on this analysis, we were able to identify the significant topics that structure this research field, as well as research gaps and future directions.
... Among the measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from households and to reduce energy consumption, the European Commission has mandated in the Water, Energy and Waste Directive that household washing programs with lower temperatures (30-40 • C) and lower water consumption must be used [1]. Given the huge amounts of laundry we wash in households today (clothing consumption is constantly increasing due to the rise of fast fashion), such an approach makes sense and can actually bring measurable savings in energy and water consumption [2,3]. LCA studies of clothing, detergents and washing machines show that the use phase is generally the most energy consuming phase in the life cycle of clothing, ahead of the production and transport phases [4]. ...
... For colour change determination of the tested coloured textile samples, the colour difference (∆E*) was calculated using the following equation: ∆E * = (∆L * ) 2 + (∆a * ) 2 + (∆b * ) 2 (2) where ∆L*, ∆a* and ∆b* are differences between the lightness (L*), green-red (a*) and blue-yellow (b*) colour coordinates of the two samples, i.e., samples washed with washing agent in the presence of hydrogen peroxide and samples washed only with washing agent. Five measurements per sample were performed. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the Water, Energy and Waste Directive, the European Commission provides for the use of household washing programmes with lower temperatures (30–40 °C) and lower water consumption. However, low washing temperatures and the absence of oxidising agents in the liquid detergents, and their reduced content in powder detergents, allow biofilm formation in washing machines and the development of an unpleasant odour, while the washed laundry can become a carrier of pathogenic bacteria, posing a risk to human health. The aim of the study was to determine whether the addition of hydrogen peroxide (HP) to liquid detergents in low-temperature household washing allows disinfection of the laundry without affecting the properties of the washed textiles even after several consecutive washes. Fabrics of different colours and of different raw material compositions were repeatedly washed in a household washing machine using a liquid detergent with the addition of 3% stabilised HP solution in the main wash, prewash or rinse. The results of the antimicrobial activity, soil removal activity, colour change and tensile strength confirmed the excellent disinfection activity of the 3% HP, but only if added in the main wash. Its presence did not discolour nor affect the tensile strength of the laundry, thus maintaining its overall appearance.
... Energy consumption data for each appliance has been extracted from IDAE. The water consumed by the dishwasher and the washing machine is computed according to (Richter, 2011), and (Pakula and Stamminger, 2010), respectively. The detergent use has not been considered with the aim of avoiding impact distribution changes originating from aspects not merely related to the manufacturing phase or the energy To reduce the environmental impacts during use of the existing appliances the implementation of a 100% renewable power supply and a responsible consumption pattern are considered. ...
Article
Full-text available
To lessen the residential sector environmental burdens from the energy consumption of household appliances, notable efforts have been directed to replace existing energy-consuming appliances by new energy-efficient equipment. However, less attention has focused to understand the optimum operating period of households so reduced greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved. Conventional household appliances should be preferably replaced with new designs featuring improved energy efficient models, along with reduced environmental burdens associated with the manufacturing of the new products. Such studies, to the best of our knowledge, have not been extensively investigated. To address this gap, the global warming potential during the life cycle of three representative household appliances, a microwave oven, a dishwasher and a washing machine is analyzed using a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment. To provide guidelines towards impact reduction, the current situation and four new scenarios focused on material efficiency, recycled material, renewable electricity and responsible consumption are analyzed. Depending on the scenario, impacts of 84–261, 317–1330, and 533–1375 kg·CO2 eq/lifetime are obtained for a microwave, a dishwasher and a washing machine, respectively. Balancing energy efficiency and life-time when replacing a class A appliance, operating periods of 4.3–38, 2.7–26.2 and 4.6–33.9 years for microwaves, dishwashers, and washing machines, render the lowest CO2 footprint. These results may assist manufacturers, policymakers and citizens to promote environmentally sustainable production and consumption patterns.
... The voltage range for these devices is 1.5V to 250V, with a power rating of up to 0.75 HP and speeds ranging from 3600 to 25000 rpm. Due to the high utilization of washing machines worldwide, the ownership rate is increased around 70% [1]. ...
Article
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, textile laundering hygiene has proved to be a fundamental measure in preventing the spread of infections. The first part of our study evaluated the decontamination efficiency of various treatments (thermal, photothermal, and microwave) for bio contaminated textiles. The effects on textile decontamination of adding saturated steam into the drum of a household textile laundering machine were investigated and evaluated in the second part of our study. The results show that the thermal treatment, conducted in a convection heating chamber, provided a slight reduction in efficiency and did not ensure the complete inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus on cotton swatches. The photothermal treatment showed higher reduction efficiency on contaminated textile samples, while the microwave treatment (at 460 W for a period of 60 s) of bio contaminated cotton swatches containing higher moisture content provided satisfactory bacterial reduction efficiency (more than 7 log steps). Additionally, the treatment of textiles in the household washing machine with the injection of saturated steam into the washing drum and a mild agitation rhythm provided at least a 7 log step reduction in S. aureus. The photothermal treatment of bio contaminated cotton textiles showed promising reduction efficiency, while the microwave treatment and the treatment with saturated steam proved to be the most effective.
Article
One of the most promising strategies for maintaining stable water sources for on-site wastewater reuse is greywater reclamation, particularly laundry wastewater reclamation. This study proposes an efficient strategy for the pre-treatment of laundry wastewater, which reduces membrane fouling and improves flux recovery after membrane cleaning. The fouling behavior, organic retention, and flux recovery rates of ceramic ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were comprehensively investigated using synthetic laundry wastewater. Under identical applied pressure and temperature conditions, a fouling resistance that corresponded to the water permeate flux and normalized flux was explored. Total organic carbon (TOC) retention was also tested to investigate the feasibility of using ceramic UF membranes as an effective pre-treatment for laundry wastewater reclamation. Furthermore, four different cleaning strategies for the fouled ceramic membranes were systematically compared, including deionized (DI) water, alkaline, acidic, and combined alkaline and acidic chemical agents to provide an in-depth understanding of the potential recovery rates of the membranes relative to the initial state. The filtration and treatment performance of real laundry wastewater samples collected from a university student dormitory was compared with synthetic laundry wastewater. This work provided valuable information on fouling behavior and cleaning strategies that could advance ceramic UF membrane pre-treatment technology for sustainable laundry wastewater reuse. Despite the challenges associated with the organic fouling and the potential of incomplete flux recovery in engineered systems, our findings provide insights into fouling mechanisms and cleaning strategies that could enable the optimization of engineered wastewater reuse systems.
Article
In a servicizing business model, the service provider sells a product’s functionality, not the product per se. This study aims to find the best profit-maximizing pricing strategies for this business model that can also yield the highest consumer welfare with minimal environmental impact. This approach identifies win-win-win strategies satisfying profit, planet, and people objectives. As providers charge consumers based on usage (pay-per-use) versus a regular flat fee (pay-per-period), the economic, environmental, and welfare implications of such strategies remain unclear. We tackle this problem using a stylized game-theoretic model where the service provider first designs the pricing schemes, and consumers react by adjusting use. When offering a single product, we observe that pay-per-use policies outperform pay-per-period when the service provider is cost-inefficient or small-scale. Also, where per-use consumers are not very sensitive to payment frequency, service providers tend to exclude low usage-valuation users. Outperformance also prevails when the proportion of low-use consumers is sufficiently low. Our results show that a win-win strategy can be achieved by offering a pay-per-use policy to high usage-valuation consumers, however, a win-win-win strategy is never possible. We also analyze the problem for a situation where the service provider offers a product line including green and regular products. Then, we characterize possible win-win-win strategies that hinge on environmental impact from different phases of a product’s lifecycle. We extend the models to allow SP i) influence the size of market segments and ii) decide on product greenness levels in different phases of its lifecycle.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The European Commission pays particular attention to the digital development of the economy and society. The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) has been an essential tool for measurement and monitoring since 2014. In 2021, the cardinal indicators of the DESI index were aligned with the 2030 Digital Compass targets, which have four key areas: digitally skilled population; secure and sustainable digital infrastructures; the digital transformation of businesses, and digitalisation of public services. In the present study, the authors examined the development of digital public services over the past five years, using σ-convergence to measure differences between the Member States and β-convergence to examine how countries could catch up. The individual indicators under the digital public service category have also been analysed to identify critical areas that need to be developed in the future for the digital public service to catch up with the leading Member States. The areas most needing improvement were user-centricity, transparency, and cyber security.
Article
Collective self-consumption can have an important role contributing to decarbonization and sustainability goals in cities. However, the implementation of such projects is hindered by technical, economic, social and regulatory barriers, which may compromise those goals. Based on the recent guiding principles for collective energy systems established under the scope of the European Union's Clean Energy Package, this work aims to assess how cost minimization and self-consumption maximization collective objectives may influence the economic and energy performance of a shared electricity generation and self-consumption project implemented in a multi-tenancy environment. A multiagent framework is developed to model the building dynamics while optimization algorithms are implemented to exploit individual and collective goals. Our findings show that cost minimization and self-consumption maximization can be conflicting objectives and influence the project energy and economic performance. While the cost minimization objective is more attractive for projects in which cost-driven participants are concerned with recovering investment, the self-consumption maximization objective is more suitable for cost-indifferent participants and projects aimed at energy self-sufficiency. These results raise relevant hints for stakeholders (participants, investors and policymakers), contributing to make better investment decisions and design better policies incentivizing electricity generation and management in multi-tenancy buildings.
Article
Given the growing demand for water in the world, approaches and/or actions are needed to reduce consumption and increase demand. In the latter case, water reuse is a viable alternative to increase the demand for non-potable water in homes. This study aims to optimize washing machine greywater treatment using aqueous solutions of aluminum sulfate and Moringa oleifera seed extract. To this end, an experiment was carried out using washing machine greywater from a residence. The data from this test were evaluated adopting the Response Surface Methodology (RSM). The parameters evaluated in the experiment were the pH, turbidity, sludge volume produced, and the total dissolved solids. Afterward, these were compared with limits established by technical standards and authors regarding non-potable water reuse. The results of this study indicate that using the treatment with the lowest coagulant dosages, i.e., 20 mL L⁻¹ of Moringa oleifera extracted in calcium nitrate and 1 mL L⁻¹ of aluminum sulfate, it is feasible to reuse greywater after treatment in toilet bowl flushing. For these dosages of coagulants, the turbidity removal was 96.22% and the pH varied from 7.2 to 6.8. The association of aluminum sulfate with Moringa oleifera extracted in calcium nitrate is viable for the treatment by coagulation of greywater from the washing machine to reduce the dosage of each coagulant and meet the criteria of the standards.
Article
Full-text available
An energy simulation model for residential energy uses and costs from 1970 through 2000 estimates annual consumption of four fuels, eight end uses, and three housing types. The model also evaluates annual equipment installation, ownership, and equipment costs including charges for improving thermal performance of new and existing housing. An example of the model application is given by estimating the energy and economic factors of alternate water heating conservation options they show the advantages of heat pump water heaters over conventional and solar units.
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the structure and methodology from the European EIE project REMODECE, whose overall objective is to contribute to an increased understanding of the energy consumption in the EU-25+2 households for the different types of equipment, including the consumers' behaviour and comfort levels, and to identify demand trends. In the project a large monitoring campaign is being carried out in 12 countries, accompanied by a consumer survey. Some preliminary results of monitoring campaigns are presented. The European-wide residential energy monitoring being carried out is focused on electronic loads (entertainment, information and communication technologies, plus stand-by consumption) and lighting, as well as air conditioning in Southern European countries. In four Eastern European countries, because of lack of reliable data, white appliances are also being monitored.
Book
Household appliances encompass a large variety of equipment including the cold appliances (refrigerators and freezers), the wet appliances (washing machines, dishwashers and dryers), the space conditioning appliances (heaters, air­ conditioners, heat pumps, fans, boilers), the water heaters, the cooking appliances, a wide array of consumer electronics (such as TVs, VCRs, HiFi systems) and miscellaneous small appliances (such as vacuum cleaners, irons, toasters, hairdryers and power tools). Household appliances save a large amount of domestic labour to perform the household tasks, as well as provide comfort conditions and convenience to the household occupants. The European Community SAVE Programme has promoted the efficient use of energy, in particular in domestic appliances. SAVE has sponsored a variety of studies to characterise the use of the main household appliances and lighting and to identify cost-effective technical options to improve the energy efficiency, as well as to identify the strategies to promote the penetration ofefficient equipment in the market place. National energy agencies, independent experts and appliance manufacturers have participated in the SAVE activities and have done a remarkable job. While the energy efficiency ofthe main household appliances has been improved, at the same time it was possible in most cases to improve the appliance performance, reliability and qualityofservice.
Statistical yearbook of Norway 2005 from http://www.ssb.no/english/yearbook/tab/tab-061
  • Statistics Norway
Definition und Ermittlung verhaltensabhängiger Energiesparpotentiale beim Betrieb elektrischer Haushaltswaschmaschinen
  • Berkholz
The US Laundry Market
  • C W Harrel