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Commercial Clothes Washers

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Manufacturers have been required to comply with the Department of Energy's (DOE) energy conservation standards for commercial clothes washers since 2007. Commercial clothes washers use a water solution of soap, detergent, or both and mechanical movement to clean clothes. Commercial clothes washers are used in commercial settings, multi-family housing, or laundromats. There are two classes of commercial clothes washers: front-loading and top-loading clothes washers.

The current standard will save approximately 0.12 quads of energy and result in approximately $1.1 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2007-2036. The standard will avoid about 6.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 1.3 million automobiles.

The standard mandatory in 2013 will save approximately 0.1 quads of energy and result in approximately $2.7 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2013-2042. The standard will avoid about 4.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 843,137 automobiles.


Recent Updates | Standards | Test Procedures | Waiver, Exception, and Exemption Information | Statutory Authority | Historical Information | Contact Information


Recent Updates

DOE published a final rule regarding energy conservation standards for commercial clothes washers. 79 FR 74492 (December 15, 2014). For more information, please see the rulemaking page.

DOE published a final rule regarding test procedures for commercial clothes washers. 79 FR 71624 (December 3, 2014) For more information, please see the rulemaking page.


Standards for Commercial Clothes Washers

The following content summarizes the energy factor and water factor requirements and standards for commercial clothes washers. The text is not an official reproduction of the Code of Federal Regulations and should not be used for legal research or citation.

Current Standard

Commercial clothes washers are defined in 10 CFR 431.152. Commercial clothes washers manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 431.156. This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Each commercial clothes washer manufactured between January 1, 2007, and January 8, 2013, shall have a modified energy factor of at least 1.26 and a water consumption factor of not more than 9.5.

Each commercial clothes washer manufactured on or after January 8, 2013, shall have a modified energy factor no less than and a water factor no greater than shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Clothes Washers
Product Class Modified Energy Factor
(ft3/kWh/cycle)
Water Factor
(gal/ft3/cycle)
1. Top-loading 1.60 8.5
2. Front-loading 2.00 5.5

For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this standard, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Test Procedure for Commercial Clothes Washers

Current Test Procedure

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 431.154 for commercial clothes washers manufactured or distributed into commerce. These are also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

The test procedure for commercial clothes washers is required to be the same test procedure established for residential clothes washers. 42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(8)

For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Waivers, Exceptions, and Exemptions

Waivers

Test procedure waivers have not been issued for commercial clothes washers.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 431 subpart V.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for commercial clothes washers.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE has not exempted any states from this energy conservation standard. States may petition DOE to exempt a state regulation from preemption by the Federal energy conservation standard. States may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemptions. For details, see 10 CFR 431, subpart W.

Statutory Authority

The current energy conservation standards for commercial clothes washers are mandated by Part A–1, the "Certain Industrial Equipment" of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended. (42 U.S.C. 6311–6317) This equipment is treated as covered equipment under Part A-1. (42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(H))

Historical Information

EPCA requires DOE to establish energy conservation standards for commercial clothes washers if they would be technologically feasible and economically justified. Commercial clothes washers were originally included in the final rule for residential dishwashers, dehumidifiers, cooking products, and commercial clothes washers. However, DOE needed to conduct supplemental rulemaking analyses to complete the rulemaking. As a result, the standards for commercial clothes washers were issued in a separate rulemaking through a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking and final rule. DOE published the final rule on January 8, 2010.

Previous Standards

2005 Final Rule

Previous Test Procedures

2003 Final Rule

  • Final Rule, Federal Register, 68 FR 62198 (Oct. 31, 2003)

2001 Final Rule

  • Final Rule, Federal Register, 66 FR 3314 (Jan. 12, 2001)

1997 Final Rule

  • Correction, Federal Register, 63 FR 16669 (Apr. 6, 1998)
  • Final Rule, Federal Register, 62 FR 45484 (Aug. 27, 1997)

Helpful Links and Contact Information

Helpful Links

Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySavers.gov.

DOE supports the testing and verification of ENERGY STAR® products in close collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency. ENERGY STAR qualified commercial clothes washers trim more than $1,000 per washer from your utility bills over 10 years.

Contact information

For more information related to the regulation of this product, please email:


commercial_clothes_washers@ee.doe.gov