Clothes Washers, Commercial


Commercial clothes washers (CCWs) are defined in EPAct 2005 as soft-mount, front-loading or soft-mount, top-loading washers, and have a clothes container compartment that is not more than 3.5 cubic feet for horizontal-axis clothes washers and not more than 4.0 cubic feet for vertical-axis clothes washers. EPAct 2005 also defines CCWs as products designed for applications in which the occupants of more than one household will be using the clothes washer, such as multi-family housing common areas, coin laundries, or other commercial applications.


Standards for commercial soft-mount clothes washers, previously set by EPAct 2005, were amended in January 2010. The new standards set a 1.60 modified energy factor (MEF) / 8.5 water factor (WF) for top-loading washers and 2.00 MEF / 5.5 WF for front-loading washers. Modified Energy Factor (MEF) measures the amount of laundry that can be washed with a kilowatt hour of electricity. Higher MEFs are better. Water Factor (WF) measures how much water is needed to wash a cubic foot of laundry. Lower WFs are better. These amended standards went into effect in January, 2013.

In December 2014, DOE issued a final rule amending the standards to 1.35 MEF/8.8 WF for top-loading washers and to 2.0 MEF/4.1 WF for front-loading washers. DOE estimates that the standards will save 0.07 quads of energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4.1 million metric tons on purchases over a 30-year period (2018-2047). The compliance date is January 2018.


There are 2 to 3 million commercial washers in the United States, which are replaced at a rate of about 10% per year. The vast majority of new commercial washer sales are top-loading (~80%), which are generally less-efficient than front-loaders. The energy efficiency metric, MEF, takes into account water heater energy, maching energy, and drying energy. The drying energy is based on the remaining moisture content (RMC) of the clothes. Potential technology options for achieving this standard could include adaptive control systems, automatic fill controls, increased motor efficiency, spray rinsing, and improved remaining water extraction.

Projected Savings

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Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2025
Updated DOE Standard Due 2022
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2018
3rd Federal Standard Effective 2016
Updated DOE Standard Due 2015
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2014
3rd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2014
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2013
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2010
2009 OR Standard Effective *
2008 AZ Standard Effective *
2007 NJ Standard Effective *
2007 WA Standard Effective *
2007 CT Standard Effective *
2007 MD Standard Effective *
2007 RI Standard Effective *
1st Federal Standard Effective 2007
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 2005
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2005
2005 NJ Standard Adopted
2005 WA Standard Adopted
2005 AZ Standard Adopted
2005 RI Standard Adopted
2005 OR Standard Adopted
2005 CA Standard Effective
2004 CT Standard Adopted
2004 MD Standard Adopted
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2003
2002 CA Standard Adopted

* State standard never went into effect due to preemption by federal standard.

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.