The first energy and water efficiency standards for washers and dryers were set by Congress in 1987 during the Reagan administration. Thanks to a series of strengthened standards, washing machines now use, on average, about 75% less energy than they did before the first standard, according to industry data, even while many handle bigger loads. In the meantime, product prices have decreased while performance has improved. Consumer Reports had to make its washing performance tests harder over the years to keep up with improving technology and to better differentiate products.
“For three decades, washers and dryers have gotten more and more efficient while performing better. We shouldn’t go back to models that waste huge amounts of energy and water but don’t get clothes any cleaner,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP). “DOE appears more interested in notching up another senseless regulatory rollback than in saving energy and helping consumers reduce their utility bills.”
Last year, DOE proposed a similar “short-cycle” rule to roll back dishwasher standards. DOE also eliminated light bulb standards and has proposed a policy to head off future standards for furnaces and other gas appliances.
Source: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
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