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New standards could dramatically change the way we do laundry at home: 'It's going to reduce your bills'

"These rules represent an opportunity."

"These rules represent an opportunity."

Photo Credit: iStock

Doing laundry is about to get a whole lot cheaper thanks to updated efficiency standards for washers and dryers, which the Biden administration announced last month. 

The U.S. Department of Energy said the new energy requirements will shave $2.2 billion off Americans' utility bills annually. 

Per Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a nonprofit that helped devise the new regulations, this amounts to annual utility bill savings of $67 per household, assuming participants swap older models of both a washer and dryer for energy-efficient ones. 

As Consumer Reports explained, around 10% of a home's total annual electricity use goes toward washing and drying clothes, according to Noah Horowitz, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

However, the new efficiency standards will help Americans keep more money in their pockets. Per Grist, top-loading washers will be 11% more efficient and use 28% less water. Dryers will have the biggest boost in efficiency, with updated models requiring up to 40% less energy

The DOE announced that the new energy-efficiency standards will take effect on Mar. 1, 2028. According to ASAP, the latest requirements for most models are equivalent to current Energy Star efficiency criteria. 

"These rules represent an opportunity for more efficient appliances that provide the same level of performance but have reduced operating expenses," a Department of Energy official told Grist.

In addition, the laundry efficiency reforms will significantly benefit the environment, eliminating over 78 million tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution over 30 years, per the DOE

"These standards will ensure any model you or your landlord picks uses proven efficiency technologies. It's going to reduce your bills and make a meaningful cut to climate pollution," Joanna Mauer, deputy director of ASAP, said

"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," Mauer added.

This marks the first washer and dryer efficiency standards update in 12 years, per ASAP

The nonprofit reported that consumers can save even more money — around $120 annually — by replacing outdated refrigerators and freezers, beverage and wine chillers, dishwashers, and stoves, as well as washers and dryers, with the most common energy-efficient models once the new standards for these appliances take effect in 2028.

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