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Washing machine replacement program

In this program top loading washing machines would be replaced with efficient front-loaders, through rebates or subsidies.

Top loading washing machines rated at 4.5-star or greater will use around 25KL / year more than a front-loading washing machine of the same WELS star rating.

Current market data for NSW suggests that roughly 50% of sales are still represented by less efficient top loading washing machines.

A Millennium drought program across NSW that provided $150 rebates for 4.5-star and then later 5-star washing machines resulted in a shift in market penetration from around 15% of efficient front loaders to close to 40%. This sales growth occurred within 3 years, while subsequently there has been less than 10% additional growth in the 11 years since this rebate program ended.

Meanwhile the retail price differential between efficient front loading machines and mid-tier inefficient machines has narrowed to around $250.

There remains significant potential to induce further market penetration of efficient front-loading washing machines via a rebate program that specifically targets only top-loading washing machines.

Complimentary to this initiative is recycling facility that ensures the top-loading machines don’t become a waste issue for small towns and to also ensure they don’t end up on secondary markets.

Previous program variations that have combined these objectives include buy-back schemes that subsidise the cost of removal of the existing, inefficient machine and pay and incentive to purchase a new, efficient machine. This places the emphasis on removal of inefficient machines and may ease the communications of the primary objective of the program, which is to encourage the purchase of efficient washing machines by owners of inefficient machines.