DOE offers compromise rules on washers and dryers

By Brian Dabbs | 03/01/2024 06:40 AM EST

The energy efficiency rules, which give industries over four years to comply, are likely to head off court battles.

Washer and dryer machines

The Department of Energy has released energy efficiency standards for washing and drying machines. Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The Department of Energy released new efficiency regulations on clothes washer and dryer machines Thursday, opting to go with compromises for both rules that will likely help the department avoid a battle in court.

Together, the rules will save U.S. households $2.2 billion on utility bills annually and avoid 71 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to DOE. They both align with a proposal floated last year by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and the environmental group Appliance Standard Awareness Project (ASAP) that struck middle ground on a range of appliance regulations.

The final washing machine rule scales back efficiency targets included in a proposal last year. Both final rules give industry more than four years to comply. DOE typically requires compliance for efficiency rules three years after finalization.


“These standards will ensure any model you or your landlord picks uses proven efficiency technologies,” Joanna Mauer, deputy director at ASAP, said in a statement. “The efficient models that already meet these standards clean clothes better and are less likely to overdry and shrink them. We’re talking about laundry machines that are just better.”