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Inefficient hand dryers cost UK firms almost a quarter of a billion pounds in wasted energy every year

Inefficient hand dryers could be costing UK businesses up to £234 million per year, according to a study* conducted by Initial Washroom Hygiene.

Initial Washroom Hygiene researched 689 hand dryers that were photographed on walls in April 2023.  Analysis of these hand dryers revealed that the average unit ran for 22 seconds and had an average power rating of 1.94kW.

The research concluded that upgrading to a low energy hand dryer would cut the average energy bill for each unit by £134 and save up to 76kg of CO2 each year.

Jamie Woodhall, UK Technical & Innovation Manager, Initial Washroom Hygiene commented: “Hand dryers have a lifespan of 5-7 years, but they are an item which is typically out of sight and out of mind.  As long as they are working then very often they will be left on walls for 10 or 15+ years. 

“Not replacing outdated hand dryers may appear to make good business sense but is it?  Modern hand dryers have evolved to be more efficient at drying hands quickly, as well as being low energy and low noise. So we’ve crunched some numbers to work out what this could mean for both business pockets and our planet.

“An industry source has confirmed that in the last 30 years, they believe in the UK around 4.5m hand dryers have been sold. They estimate the number of units on walls currently is between 1.55m–1.75m.

“I believe even this upper estimate of 1.75m units is a conservative one.  But working with this figure and the average power consumption of the hand dryers recorded in our recent study, there are big savings to be made. We have calculated that the potential energy saving in carbon alone is huge, equating to over 62,000 flights to Australia.”

To help businesses reduce their washroom maintenance costs and reduce their carbon emissions, Initial Washroom Hygiene has introduced the Luna Dry, Initial’s most efficient and hygienic hand drying solution to date. The Luna Dry units produce up to 90% less CO2 compared to other hand dryers, and costs just £17 per annum to run** with an average drying time of 15 seconds (on the ambient setting).

*Study conducted by Initial Washroom Hygiene frontline colleagues of hand dryers spotted on washroom walls in April 2023. Of the 689 hand dryers photographed and researched the following was found:

  • Average dry time = 22s

  • Average power rating = 1.94kW. The average saving per annum based on 150 activations per day and in use 250 days per annum (0.34kW energy price) when compared to low energy, modern hand dryers like the Luna on ambient setting = £134+ 76kg carbon per annum

  • Based on 1.75m units the total energy saving = £262,395,000 and 133270520kg of carbon (62,313 flights to Australia)

** https://www.initial.co.uk/hand-dryers/luna-dry/

About Sarah OBeirne

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