appliances will become more and more important as energy costs rise, so you’re wise to learn. And whether you’re assessing a washing machine, toaster oven or dryer, the process involves the same starting point. Every electrical item sold in Canada includes a label somewhere that lists the voltage the device operates on and the current drawn during use. This is smaller than the EnerGuide label and is usually a permanently riveted on piece of metal. Multiply the voltage show on this label (typically 120 volt most appliances; 240 volts for large ones) by the amperage draw and you’ll get the number of watts consumed by the device during use. If, for instance, the nameplate on your washing machine shows 8.3 amps, that works out to a rate of electrical consumption of 1000 watts or 1 kilowatt. If you used your washer for one hour, this translates into a total quantity of 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed. Depending on when during the day you ran our washer, it might cost 10 or 15 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity (all taxes and delivery charges included). Using your washer for one hour would cost 10 or 15 cents, assuming the use of cold water. The energy used to heat water for one load of washing is often more than the energy used to run the washing machine itself.