Enervee data reveal how these picks stack up on energy consumption
In July 2017, Consumer Reports published an updated list of 22 well matched, highly rated washers and dryers in two groups, those that cost less than $1,700 and those that scored “very good” or better in noise tests.
We were curious to see how these picks performed on energy, based on the Enervee Data Engine, our daily-updated consumer product market intelligence platform, and this is what we found.
For the washers recommended by Consumer Reports:
In case of both front and top loaders, the CR picks on average steered consumers towards more efficient models than the universe of models with current online offers. However, because the CR list included larger capacity washers than the overall market (4.2 ft3), their average consumption was about 8% higher.
Our advice? If you want to avoid throwing energy, water and money down the drain, buy a front-load washer, or be very picky about which top loader you select.
Turning to dryers, these appliances consume much more energy than washers do and can have a noticeable effect on energy bills. There are three basic types of electric dryers available on the US market: (i) those that rely on conventional dryer technology and vent hot, moist air out of the house after it passes through the machine (most common and least efficient), (ii) ventless condensing dryers and (iii) heat pump dryers.
The vast majority of dryers on the US market are vented and rely on conventional technology, and there is only a 5% difference in dryer energy consumption between the 90th (641 kWh/y) and 10th percentile (607 kWh/y) of all 260 models with current offers, while the corresponding price range is much larger ($1,255 to $503).
In fact, there’s no correlation between price and consumption or efficiency among full-size dryers on the US market, so it pays to shop around. That having been said, there is little difference in rated efficiency among most vented models, but the most efficient dryers (with heat pump technology) start at around $1000.
Analysis of Consumer Reports’ dryer recommendations reveal that:
The Whirlpool heat pump model WED7990FW, for example, is available for just over $1000 and uses 16% less energy than conventional models in the CR list currently priced between $1,020 and $1,796. Another example of more efficient models that can be had without a price premium. And prices for the advanced dryers are likely to drop as the market for them grows.
Consumers should also consider the following when dryer shopping:
But the actual, in-home consumption of clothes dryers, with their large and distinct load profile, are among the electricity loads that lend themselves to estimation from load disaggregation techniques. Such devices and apps will be featured on Marketplaces powered by Enervee later this year and will allow visitors to share their data for more accurate estimates of potential savings from new product purchases compared with the appliance they’re using now.
Beyond Consumer Reports’ trusted stamp of approval, the examples laid out above illustrate why consumers will benefit from being able to compare product efficiency, actual retail prices and potential energy bill impacts of individual product model choices in real time, as they shop.
But will they make such comparisons? Or is this just all too complicated to care about?
The jury is still out, but Enervee Marketplace boils behavioral science insights and vast market data down to a product card view that we have reason to believe will make energy-smart shopping simple and compelling for everyone.
You can try it yourself. Go to Enervee Marketplace to research your next product purchase, save your favorite models, receive price drop alerts, and sign up for rebates!
Get started to schedule a demo, join our newsletter, or chat with us.