Every time the energy efficiency standards for home appliances get a little tighter, we imagine the planet and cash-strapped homeowners breathe a little easier. Here’s some good news for both: the U.S. Department of Energy has announced some new efficiency standards for residential clothes washers and dishwashers expected to save consumers a cool $20 billion in energy and water costs.
As of today, clothes washers and dishwashers account for around 3 percent of residential energy use and more than 20 percent of indoor water use in the nation’s households. The new standards for clothes washers will reduce the energy consumption of front-loading clothes washers by 15 percent and reduce water consumption by 35 percent, while top-loading washers will save 33 percent on energy and 19 percent on water use.
The new standards were developed in partnership with major stakeholders in the appliance market, including Whirlpool, General Electric and LG Electronics, industry advocates, national environmental organizations, and consumer groups. These standards build on previous minimum energy efficiency requirements for clothes washers and dishwashers and go into effect starting in 2015 and 2013, respectively.
This is the latest in a series of increased efficiency standards set forth by the Obama Administration covering nearly 40 different products, which is good news all around, as the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has likened tougher such standards to “free money.” These tighter standards, across the board, are expected to save consumers nearly $350 billion on their energy bills through 2030.