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Energy Standards

Are you considering purchasing a new clothes washer in the near future? The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Clothes Washer Energy Conservation Standards” that details new energy efficiency standards for clothes washers and other appliances. For the past few years, the American Water Works Association’s Conservation Washing MachineDivision and the Water Utility Council have been working with the DOE on these new standards, which should result in improved water conservation across the country.

These new standards will be phased into effect through a two-step process:

    • Beginning January 1, 2004, all new residential clothes washers manufactured after that date are required to be 22% more efficient than today’s minimally compliant washers.
    • Beginning January 1, 2007, all new residential clothes washers manufactured after that date will be required to be 35% more efficient than the minimally compliant washers.

Horizontal-Axis vs. Vertical-Axis Washing Machines

Something to consider before you purchase your next washing machine….Recently several studies were completed on the use of horizontal-axis and vertical-axis washing machines. Those studies have found that horizontal-axis, low-water use washing machines, on average, use 40% less energy and 25% less water than vertical-axis washers. Also, they are more efficient in removing soil, although they use less detergent per load. Imagine that!! Many of these washing machines have higher spin speeds, which results in less dryer use because of the increased water extraction. A horizontal-axis washing machine uses approximately 700,000 gallons less water annually than a vertical-axis machine. So before you purchase your next washing machine be sure to compare. In the long run, you might be able to save water, energy and money.