Washing machines are a great relief in terms of our time and energy as compared to hand-washing clothes. However, since they are powered by electricity, they consume a non-renewable source of energy.
Moreover, not having control over how much water is used can lead to wastage. That’s why it’s important to review the efficiency of a washing machine before buying it.
These appliances are used almost every day, so they need to be efficient enough. Appliances in India have their efficiency specified using a 5-star system.
You might have seen these stickers on all high-energy-consumption devices.
What is the Star Rating on a Washing Machine?
The star rating for energy efficiency is determined by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a government agency. The BEE is a part of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
This agency gets its information directly from the manufacturers of the appliances. They specify the minimum requirements in terms of energy-saving and greenhouse gas production that products must comply with.
Companies then get their products tested from labs accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The calculation of star ratings differs according to the type of appliance.
The market is then analyzed based on these calculations and the bottom 10% are discarded. The remaining products are then divided into five groups and given ratings.
The BEE updates these ratings every few years with technological advancements. This causes an overall improvement in the market efficiency as the lowest 10% keep getting eliminated.
With washing machines, the star ratings are different for front-load models and top-load or semi-automatic models.
The efficiency of washing machines is determined by assessing four parameters. These include wash performance (soil removal percentage), water extraction performance, maximum water consumption, and rinse performance.
The rating plan established from testing assigns stars to the amount of energy consumption units. These units are kWh/Kg/cycle, implying the energy consumed for every use of the washing machine.
Here are the latest rating plans for washing machines (washing cotton @ 60° for front-load and @ 30° for top-load/semi-automatic).
These ratings are valid from 8th March 2019 to 31st December 2020.
Energy Efficiency Table – Front Loaders
|Star Rating||Energy Consumption (E) per Cycle|
|1-star||0.16 < E <= 0.18|
|2-star||0.14 < E <= 0.16|
|3-star||0.11 < E <= 0.14|
|4-star||0.09 < E <= 0.11|
|5-star||E <= 0.09|
Energy Efficiency Table – Top Loaders (Drum Type)
|Star Rating||Energy Consumption (E) per Cycle|
|1-star||0.0171 < E <= 0.0185|
|2-star||0.0158 < E <= 0.0171|
|3-star||0.0145 < E <= 0.0158|
|4-star||0.0132 < E <= 0.0145|
|5-star||E <= 0.0132|
Pros and Cons of a 5-star Washing Machine
The obvious benefit of using a 5-star washing machine is that it uses less energy. It does so by delivering more for the same amount of power than models with lower ratings.
This, of course, leads to reduced electricity bills.
On top of the energy saved, these models also save water. As they use resources more judiciously than competing products, they are better for the planet.
The downside to purchasing a 5-star washing machine is that they cost more than the others. This initial cost, though compensated for with low utility bills, is usually beyond the budget of buyers.
Another concern that buyers have is that ratings keep changing with time. One needs to check the year of evaluation before buying a 5-star rated washing machine.
Because of these changing ratings, the resale values of these appliances are also subject to variation.
Note – A 5-star model in 2020 can become a 3-star one in 2023. 🙂
Brands with 5-star rating washing machines
There are quite a few options to choose from as many brands make 5-star rating washing machines.
While almost all brands have 5 star rated washing machines, the most popular brand with a large variety of 5-star models is LG.
They have 5-star rated front loaders, top loaders, and semi-automatic models. A close competitor is Whirlpool with 5-star rated top-load models.
Other brands include Samsung, Godrej, Lloyd, Bosch, and Haier. These, however, have limited options with almost no front loader having 5 stars.
The star rating of a washing machine tells us how much energy it consumes per wash. This information helps make better-informed choices when purchasing these expensive appliances.
The ratings change every few years and are specified by the BEE of the Government Ministry of Power.
Washing machine manufacturers test their product’s cleaning ability, water consumption, and energy savings to give these stars.
A 5-star rating means that the product is at the top in the market in terms of energy efficiency. Though these washing machines save a lot of resources, they cost a lot more too.
This initial price is compensated for with reduced electricity bills. Popular brands with 5-star washing machines are LG and Whirlpool.