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Time for a New Washer? Look for an ENERGY STAR® Clothes Washer to Save Energy, Water

May 15, 2014

For Immediate Release:

In the market for a new clothes washer? More consumers are looking to ENERGY STAR® -certified clothes washers in order to use less energy and water, save money on utility bills, and help protect our environment. ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.

ENERGY STAR-certified clothes washers use about 20 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than regular washers. They also have a greater tub capacity, which means you can wash fewer loads to clean the same amount of laundry.

Minimum efficiency standards of ENERGY STAR clothes washers include:

  • A modified energy factor (MEF) or 2.0 or greater. The MEF is a measure of energy efficiency that takes into account the electric energy, the energy to heat the water, and the size of the tub.

  • A water factor (WF) of 6.0 or less. The WF is a measure of how much water a particular model uses related to the capacity of the machine.

The expected lifetime of a clothes washer is about 12-14 years, depending on model, use, and maintenance. If repairs for that old washer exceed a couple hundred dollars, it may be time to replace it. A 10-year old washer may cost you $100 or more in energy costs per year compared with a new ENERGY STAR model.

ENERGY STAR-certified residential clothes washers and their efficiency ratings are available on the ENERGY STAR website. Many utilities offer rebates for ENERGY STAR clothes washers and other high efficiency appliances; visit or check directly with your utility.

For tips on minimizing the energy use of clothes washers and dryers and what to look for when shopping for these appliances, see the “Appliances, Lighting, Electronics” (pdf) consumer guide provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.

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Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Contact the division’s Energy Information Center at or 800-657-3710 with energy questions.