Welcome to save@work - helping offices to save energy and cut carbon.

Hand dryer savings

Energy savings do not always come from using less.

We thought we’d share some experiences from our own offices to see if you may be able to make similar savings!

A couple of years ago, Severn Wye Energy Agency installed equipment that will actually increase electricity consumption, but results in reduced waste, cost and carbon emissions.

It was decided to look at the overall impact of the paper hand towels that were used at our Highnam office in terms of waste, cost and carbon. The first two were relatively easy to calculate. The hand towels cost £330 to £380 to purchase a year and create around 50 bags of physical waste.

The carbon impact was more difficult to calculate with the estimates ranging from a single hand towel being equivalent to 6 to 15.5 grams of CO2. It was decided to be conservative and assume one paper hand towel was equivalent to 5g (this also makes calculations easier!) This resulted in an annual CO2 from the hand towels calculated to be around 180kg per year.


There are many types of hand dryer out there and after some research it was decided to install two Blow Motion White Cyclones. The decisions for this choice were:

  • The built in drip tray.
  • Purchase cost.
  • The high speed, but relative low energy consumption per use.
  • Low standby energy use.
  • Up to 8 decibels quieter than other similar models.

Local electricians B.J Cowles completed the install in a few hours one Friday morning and the units have now been working for over a year now. It hasn’t been all plain sailing and not everyone at the office was an immediate hand dryer convert. The main issue being the sound of the new units – while quieter than other models - it can be a bit of an issue for some, but making sure that all doors are closed greatly reduces the effect. As for the savings, well we now have achieved financial savings of £315 to £375 per year giving a return on investment of around 2 years, alongside 50 fewer bags of waste leaving the site and an annual saving of over 140kg of CO2!


 -          Case study by Matt Williams (Senior Business Energy Advisor) for our Link to Energy installer network (www.linktoenergy.org.uk)

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