Late last month, the U.S. Department of Energy released new water and efficiency standards for washers and dishwashers
By 2015, clothes washers that meet the minimum standard will use 35 percent less energy and water and by next year, dishwashers will be required to use 14 percent less energy and 23 percent water. It’s a move that can save washer consumers between $400 and $600 on their water and energy bills throughout the life of the appliance, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Dishwasher buyers can expect to save $100.
The move toward more efficiency is a joint effort between energy and water advocates, appliance manufacturers, environmental organizations and consumer groups that wanted preserve choice in the market while maintaining efficiency.
“Once again, these updated standards show that energy efficiency advocates can find common ground with manufacturers and with consumer and environmental organizations on making leading-edge technology the ‘new normal’ to benefit every consumer in the country,” says Alliance to Save Energy president Kateri Callahan in the release. “By acting on the consensus recommendation of these diverse organizations, Secretary Chu and the entire team at DOE have delivered big benefits for consumers and the environment.”
Though the new dishwasher and washer standards don’t take affect until 2013 and 2015, respectively, there are new appliances available for purchase that meet the new appliance standards. The entirety of Consumer Reports highest-rated and front-loading clothes washers comply with the new standards.
Clothes washer water accounts for 20 percent of household water consumption, according to the DOE. A new, top-loading washer that complies with the standards will use 20 gallons of water, as opposed to the 40 gallons of water that a comparable machine would have used as recently as two years ago.