The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today proposed new efficiency standards for residential clothes dryers that would reduce domestic carbon emissions and save the average household approximately $36 on annual utility bills—or a collective $20.8 billion in the 30 years after the new standards come into effect. This is the 85th action in a series of more than 100 energy-efficiency actions DOE is taking this year to save the average family an estimated total of over $100 annually. DOE expects this new rule to reduce carbon emissions by 116 million metric tons—an amount roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 14.6 million residential homes—relative to current levels.
“Clothes dryers, like many highly used household appliances, can greatly benefit from efficiency upgrades that significantly reduce energy use,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk. “The new standard proposed today would put money back in the pockets of American consumers while supporting the Biden Administration’s unprecedented effort to tackle the climate crisis and achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.”
The new standard would apply to both electric and gas clothes dryers. For most electric dryers, which account for 80 percent of all new purchases, DOE is proposing an efficiency increase to the level currently required to receive the ENERGY STAR designation—a label that helps consumers select highly efficient products that will save them money. Finalizing this higher DOE standard could help usher in ENERGY STAR updates that further promote heat pump dryers, which provide even greater efficiencies than traditional electric dryers.
Consumer clothes dryers account for approximately 3.2% of annual residential energy use in the United States, as of 2020. DOE estimates that the new standard will result in 3.11 quads of energy saved from products shipped in the 30 years after implementation.
If adopted within DOE’s proposed timeframe, the new rule will come into effect in 2027. DOE plans to solicit public comment on the proposed rule for 60 days and will hold a public hearing to gather feedback from interested parties.
DOE's Appliance and Equipment Standards Program implements minimum energy conservation standards for more than 60 categories of appliances and equipment. As a result of these standards, American consumers saved $63 billion on their utility bills in 2015 alone. By 2030, cumulative operating cost savings from all standards in effect since 1987 will reach nearly $2 trillion. Products covered by standards represent about 90% of home energy use, 60% of commercial building use, and 30% of industrial energy use.