WEALTHY households in Poole consume an extra 13,800 washing machine cycles’ worth of energy a year compared to those on the lowest incomes, figures reveal.

Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth says the UK’s richest residents must significantly reduce their consumption if the country is to tackle the climate crisis.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy data shows that households with an annual income of £150,000 or more burned through an average of 20,232 kilowatt hours in gas in the year to June 2018.

This was 10,769kWh more than those with an income of less than £15,000.

One kilowatt hour is the amount of energy it takes to run a 1,000 watt appliance for one hour. The consumption figures refer to the median average.

Richer homes also got through 3,062kWh more electricity on average in the 12 months to January 2018.

With the average washing machine cycle using roughly 1kWh, this means the additional energy used by high-income households in Poole over one year would be enough to power the equivalent of 13,832 loads.