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Residential Clothes Dryers

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Manufacturers have been required to comply with the Department of Energy's (DOE) energy conservation standards for residential clothes dryers since 1988. Residential clothes dryers use a tumble-type drum with forced air circulation to dry clothes. They are commonly used in homes, but are also used in some dormitory, apartment, or small business settings.

The current standard will save approximately 0.9 quads of energy and result in approximately $9.6 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 1994-2023. The standard will avoid about 50.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 9.9 million automobiles.

An amended standard, which requires compliance in 2015, will save approximately 0.6 quads of energy and result in approximately $9.3 billion in energy bill savings from 2014-2043. The standard will avoid about 28.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 5.6 million 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 test procedures for residential clothes dryers. 78 FR 49608 (August 14, 2013). For more information, see the rulemaking webpage.


Standards for Residential Clothes Dryers

The following content summarizes the energy factor requirements and amended standards of DOE's regulations. 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

Clothes dryers manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), on or after May 14, 1994 must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(h)(2). This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Table 1. Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Clothes Dryers
Product Class Energy Factor (pounds/kWh)
Manufactured On or After May 14, 1994:
1. Electric, Standard (4.4 ft3 or greater capacity) 3.01
2. Electric, Compact (120V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) 3.13
3. Electric, Compact (240V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) 2.90
4. Gas 2.67

In addition, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.; EPCA), as amended, requires that gas clothes dryers not be equipped with a constant burning pilot for products manufactured on or after January 1, 1988. (42 U.S.C. 6295(g)(3))

Final Rule, Federal Register, 56 FR 22250 (May 14, 1991). (Note: this publication is not available online.)

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

Amended Standard

On August 24, 2011, amended standards were issued for residential clothes dryers. The full text of the amended standard is available in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(h)(3). It is also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. On January 1, 2015, these amended standards will establish new product classes and energy conservation standards for residential clothes dryers, as summarized in the table below. Compliance with these new standards will be required on January 1, 2015.

Table 2. Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Vented and Ventless Residential Clothes Dryers
Product Class Energy Factor (pounds/kWh)
Manufactured or Distributed into Commerce On or After Jan 1, 2015
1. Vented Electric, Standard (4.4 ft3 or greater capacity) 3.73
2. Vented Electric, Compact (120V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) 3.61
3. Vented Electric, Compact (240V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) 3.27
4. Vented Gas 3.30
5. Ventless Electric, Compact (240V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) 2.55
6. Ventless Electric Combination Washer/Dryer 2.08

After a regulatory action has been completed, Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to identify the substantive changes between the draft submitted to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review and the action subsequently announced, and to identify those changes made at the suggestion or recommendation of OIRA. The document below provides more information:

For further guidance or to submit questions related to these standards, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Test Procedure for Residential Clothes Dryers

Current Test Procedure

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 430.23(d) for residential clothes dryers as of February 23, 1998. The methods to conduct the test procedure are further specified in 10 CFR Part 430 Appendix D to Subpart B. These are also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

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

Amended Test Procedure:

Manufacturers must use the amended test procedure beginning January 1, 2015.

The full text of amended test procedures is available in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix D1. It is also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Waivers, Exceptions, and Exemptions

Waivers

Test procedure waivers have been issued for residential clothes dryers. The waivers specifically address condensing and ventless units, which are not covered under the current DOE test procedure. For more information on the waivers granted and those waiver petitions still pending final action, if any, please see waiver actions.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR section 430.27.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for residential clothes dryers. For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE has not exempted any state 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 part 430, subpart D.

Small Business Exemptions

Any manufacturer of a covered product with annual gross revenues that do not exceed $8,000,000 from all its operations and meets certain other conditions may apply for an exemption to the energy conservation standard. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, subpart E.

Statutory Authority

The current energy conservation standards for residential clothes dryers are mandated by Part A, the "Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles" of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended. (42 U.S.C. 6291–6309) These appliances are treated as covered products under Part A. (42 U.S.C. 6292(8))

Historical Information

EPCA established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other than Automobiles, covering major household appliances including residential clothes dryers. Later, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act amended EPCA by establishing energy conservation standards for residential clothes dryers manufactured on or after January 1, 1988, and requiring DOE to consider amending standards in two subsequent rulemakings. On May 14, 1991, DOE published a final rule establishing the first set of performance standards for residential clothes dryers manufactured on or after May 14, 1994. 56 FR 22250.

Helpful Links and Contact Information

Helpful Links

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

Contact information

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


clothes_dryers@ee.doe.gov