News Brief

California Sues DOE Over Washing Machine Efficiency

The California Energy Commission (CEC) filed suit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in April 2007 to require DOE to uphold California’s washing machine efficiency standards. In December 2006, DOE denied the State’s 2005 request for a waiver from federal washing machine standards; the waiver would have allowed California to enact standards, passed in 2002, that required washing machines to use fewer than 8.5 gallons of water per cubic foot (1,100 l/m3)of capacity (water factor) by 2007 and fewer than 6.0 gallons (800 l/m3) by 2010. DOE cited technical infeasibility, among other reasons, in denying California’s petition for a waiver, saying in its final ruling that the State’s standard might result in the unavailability of top-loading washing machines by 2010. By comparison, the current EPA Energy Star standard requires a water factor of 8.0 gallons per cubic foot (1,070 l/m3), and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), in its April 2007 “Clothes Washer Qualifying Product List,” shows 129 models from 17 manufacturers that meet Tier 2 or Tier 3 standards (maximum water factor of 6.0 and 4.5, respectively).

Published June 7, 2007

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