Last month I had a rather large unexpected expensive, and the experience got me looking around at different areas of my life to see if there were places I could cut back or save a few dollars. Naturally I took a look at my energy bill, and decided to find out if it is cheaper to wash clothes at night.
I would love to tell you that about the noticeable difference in the vibrancy of the colors or the stain-fighting power of doing laundry at night, but the benefits of washing your clothes after dark aren’t really visible – it boils down to energy use. Sure, you may be doing the same amount of laundry as you would during the day (and thus using the same amount of energy), but think of everyone else. During the day there are likely many many people also doing their laundry (and cooking, and watching TV, and otherwise using energy) than their are at night. If there are more people using a utility at once, there is naturally fewer of that utility and thus the cost goes up. If there are fewer people using a utility at once, then there is more available and thus the cost could potentially go down.
Here’s where your local utility company comes in. And this is very important to understand – this article can’t tell you about your local situation. You really need to contact your local utility company to find out what their pricing structure is. However, many utility companies will offer a discounted rate during off-peak hours – in other words, hours when there are fewer people using the utility company’s resource.
I gave it a shot for a couple of weeks, and the results were so-so. It is possible to save money by doing your laundry at night, however the savings you’re likely to get likely won’t be very substantial – at the very least, not substantial enough to enhance the change in your schedule you are introducing by switching to night.
So my verdict is – if you’re way into saving money and trimming costs no matter what, and your schedule can handle several hours of nighttime activity, AND your local utility company offers an off-peak hours discounted rate – then sure, go for it! Particularly if you have a lot of laundry, or need to do multiple loads that would require a lot of water and energy, then off-peak washing may be great.
If the thought of waking up in the middle of the night or staying up late to knock out some washing sounds exhausting, but the thought of saving some money sounds enticing, then don’t worry – you can pass on this one.