Residential clothes dryers are significant energy users. According to the Energy Information Agency, they account for over 4% of total residential energy use in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that all residential clothes dryers in the U.S. annually consume about 43 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 445 million therms of natural gas, leading to carbon dioxide emissions of 32 million metric tons.
Despite being a significant energy user, the efficiency of clothes dryers sold has traditionally not varied appreciably. This has begun to change as new clothes dryer technology, such as heat pumps, have been introduced in some markets, including Europe. The Agency’s preliminary estimates dryers that reduce energy use by 10-13% relative to a conventional model would save approximately 93 GWh and 73,000 MBtu of natural gas, annually, assuming that these dryers account for 25% of the market. And that down the line, highly efficient clothes dryers could reduce CO2 emissions by at least 30% when compared with standard electric models.
In 2011, EPA completed a Residential Clothes Dryers Scoping Report, which investigated the potential energy savings available from efficient clothes dryer technologies. To view this document, please visit the Web page on ENERGY STAR Scoping Reports. EPA has also announced in February 2012, that Advanced Clothes Dryers were selected as one of the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award categories. To learn more about the Emerging Technology Award and EPA's efforts to bring super efficient clothes dryers to the U.S. market, please visit the Web page on the Emerging Technology Award . In July 2012, EPA announced plans to launch an ENERGY STAR specification process for clothes dryers. More information, including all EPA correspondence and specification documents posted throughout the specification development process, is available at the ENERGY STAR Product Development Web Page.
EPA also provides tips to consumers to reduce the amount of energy used by clothes dryer used in the home. These energy-saving tips are available on the Web page for ENERGY STAR at Home Tips. The U.S. Department of Energy also provides energy-savings tips, at the U.S. Department of Energy's tips on energy efficient laundry .