Commercial Clothes Washers


Commercial clothes washers (CCWs), which include both front-loading and top-loading models, are typically used in laundromats and multi-family buildings.


The current standards for CCWs took effect in 2018. The standards specify minimum energy efficiencies of 1.35 and 2.00 Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and maximum water consumption levels of 8.8 and 4.1 Integrated Water Factor (IWF) for top-loading and front-loading CCWs, respectively, 

In 2021, DOE published a notice of proposed determination (NOPD) that tentatively determined that new efficiency standards for CCWs are not warranted. 

*MEF is expressed in terms of cubic feet of washer capacity per kWh of energy consumed per cycle. MEF incorporates machine electrical energy consumption, hot water energy consumption, and the energy required to remove the remaining moisture in the clothes. IWF is expressed in terms of gallons of water consumed per cubic foot of washer capacity. A higher MEF indicates better energy efficiency, while a lower IWF indicates better water efficiency. 


Front-loading washers are generally much more efficient than top-loading machines. Currently, a top-loading CCW can consume almost 50% more energy and more than twice as much water as a front-loading CCW. Commercial clothes dryers are not subject to federal efficiency standards.

Savings through what year?: 2047
Energy saved (quads): .07
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 4.1
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: .53
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: .24


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2025
Updated DOE Standard Due 2022
3rd Federal Standard Effective 2018
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2018
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.