Miele claims its latest flagship washing machine exceeds the A+++ energy label – but its efficiency comes at the high price of £1,999. Our washing machine expert reveals it could take over 150 years to recoup the difference in overall cost compared with an average washing machine.
The feature-laden Miele WMV 960WPS, on sale from March 2015, comes with the promise that it goes above and beyond the top EU energy efficiency rating without compromising on a great wash.
It also comes with a hefty price tag of around £1,999. We’ve worked out that it would likely take over 150 years – significantly longer than the life of the washing machine – for the savings made through energy efficiency to recoup the difference in cost of the machine compared to a Best Buy washing machine costing £400.
We’ve put hundreds of washing machines through our tough lab tests, including other models from Miele, Beko, Bosch and Indesit. Check out our latest washing machine reviews to avoid making a costly mistake.
Energy-saving washing machines
When you’re buying a new appliance, it’s worth considering how much it will add to your energy bill. The average washing machine will cost £26 per year, but we’ve found running costs ranging from £12 to £53 per year.
Head into a shop and you’ll find washing machines rated A+ to A+++. These EU Energy labels give an indication of how much energy and water a washing machine uses. We test differently to the EU – our tests estimate annual running costs, while the EU tests don’t – and have found A+ machines that cost less to run than A+++ machines the same size.
Washing machine running costs
Our tests reveal that drum size is the main factor influencing running costs: the bigger the drum, the higher the running cost. With a 9kg capacity, the Miele WMV 960WPS is one of Miele’s biggest machines, so its running costs are likely to be higher than 8kg models.
We’ve tested another Miele washing machine from the same W1 range, the 8kg Miele WMF 120. Also rated A+++ and at the price of £1,180, it costs £22 per year to run.
If the running cost of the new Miele equals this, it would take over 150 years to save enough on energy running costs to make up the difference between it and a Best Buy machine for under £400 (with average running costs for a 9kg machine).
However, if what’s important to you is a feature-packed machine to make your life easier, this machine could be ideal – it has a touch display, a drum that Miele claims is gentle on fabric and reduces the need for ironing, an energy consumption indicator and an integrated dispenser for liquid detergent and fabric conditioner.
How Which? tests washing machines
We calculate how much each washing machine costs to run over a year based on how you use your machine. Our members told us that they use the 40°C cotton cycle most often, so we base our running tests on this.
EU energy label tests are based on one 40°C cotton cycle and two 60°C cotton cycles. The energy efficiency claim for the Miele WMV 960WPS is based on the 60°C part of the test.
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