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This is the cheapest time to do your laundry and save money

Man loading washing machine with laundry
Man loading washing machine with laundry (Image credit: Shutterstock)

With the soaring cost of electricity bills, many households are finding ways to save money. From tips to save on energy bills to 15 water saving tips, these can all help to reduce your usage, saving you money every month. 

But, did you know that the electricity you use in the day doesn’t cost the same? In fact, if you’re always doing laundry, you could save money by simply running your washing machine at a certain time.

This is because most energy companies' offer time-of-use utility plans that charge more for electricity during peak hours, while off-peak times are much cheaper. If you’re on a standard electricity plan however, rates will remain steady throughout. 

Similar to companies like Uber, this on-peak surge typically occurs when the grid is busy, and electricity is in high demand. During this time, you’ll be paying the highest amount per kilowatt-hour (kWh) used. So if you’re running large appliances such as your washing machine or dishwasher at peak times, your bills will be costly.

On the other hand, off-peak hours occur when less consumers are using the grid, making electricity prices cheaper. If you’re at home during off-peak hours, this is the best time to do your laundry or run the dishwasher. While it’s cheaper to do laundry late at night, experts advise never to put a load in while you sleep to avoid a fire risk. 

So if you’re not already on a time-of-use plan or off-peak tariff, it’s worth asking if your utility provider offers this. Then you can work around the peak and off-peak hours, making a huge saving when doing your laundry. 

When is the best time to run your washing machine?

A washing machine in a laundry room next to a clothes horse

A washing machine in a laundry room next to a clothes horse (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Typically, electricity is cheaper first thing in the morning before 8 a.m. and after 7 p.m. (after work hours). In the UK, peak rates generally surge between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., while off-peak times are between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Again, this will depend on what electricity tariff you are on.

In the US, off-peak times vary among different time zones, and also depend on the summer or winter seasons. These are the peak and off-peak times for the Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones.  

Summer

  • Eastern time zone: Peak time is between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Off-peak is 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Central time zone: Peak time is between 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Off-peak is 5 a.m, to 1 p.m.
  • Mountain time zone : Peak time is between 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Off-peak is 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. 
  • Pacific time zone: Peak time is between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Off-peak is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Loading a washing machine with colored clothes

Loading a washing machine with colored clothes (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Winter 

  • Eastern time zone: Peak time is between  6 a.m. to 10 a.m./6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Off-peak is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Central time zone: Peak time is between 5 a.m. to 9 a.m./5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Off-peak is  9 a.m. to 5 p.m./9 p.m.-5 a.m.
  • Mountain time zone: Peak time is between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Off-peak is 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Pacific time zone: Peak time is between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m./5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Off-peak is  10 a.m. to 5 p.m./8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

So before you turn on your washing machine, check the time first, and potentially save serious cash.  


If you want your washing machine to last longer, be sure to read how to clean a washing machine. Or if you want an upgrade, you can check out the best washing machines and best clothes dryers for best results. 

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 


Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.


With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!