Energy Consumption of Clothes Dryers

Photo of a dryer


Key facts

  • The average drum capacity of dryers increased 25% from 1992 to 2015. Conversely, the average energy consumption per drum litre decreased by 25%.
  • Consumers are now drying more clothes per load and each load is consuming less energy.

For more information
  • To learn more about purchasing an energy-efficient clothes dryer for your home, please visit our ENERGY STAR clothes dryers page.

Average annual unit energy consumption

  • The average annual unit energy consumption (UEC) of clothes dryers was 6% lower in 2015 than 1992.
  • There has been a slight increase in UEC in recent years due to the use of larger capacity units.
  • The increasing share of front-loading clothes washers has helped reduce energy consumption by removing more moisture from clothes before drying occurs (not reflected in UEC data).
  • Moisture detectors in clothes dryers also reduce energy consumption by automatically shutting off when a load is dry.

Check out our publication Choosing and Using Appliances With EnerGuide (PDF, 934 KB) for more information.


Average annual UEC of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (kWh/yr)

Average annual UEC of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (kWh/yr)

Text version

Average annual UEC of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (kWh/yr)

Model year kWh/yr
1992 983.3
1993 928.5
1994 910.4
1995 909.1
1996 887.4
1997 887.3
1998 900.2
1999 907.5
2000 909.8
2001 916.3
2002 915.6
2003 914.2
2004 911.9
2005 903.8
2006 904.6
2007 912.1
2008 916.0
2009 921.4
2010 928.0
2011 932.9
2012 928.5
2013 926.4
2014 924.2
2015 923.3

Energy Consumption Fact
  • In May 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the introduction of ENERGY STAR certified residential clothes dryers. These dryers use innovative energy saving technologies to save more electricity than conventional clothes dryers.

Distribution of shipments by unit energy consumption

From 1992 to 2015, the share of electric clothes dryers consuming less than 900 kWh/yr decreased while the share of those consuming over 950 kWh/yr increased, mainly due to the increased popularity of larger capacity units.


Distribution of electric clothes dryers by average annual UEC, 1992–2015 (%)

Distribution of electric clothes dryers by average annual UEC, 1992–2015 (%)

Text version

Distribution of electric clothes dryers by average annual UEC, 1992–2015 (%)

350–799.9 kWh/yr 800–899.9 kWh/yr 900–949.9 kWh/yr 950–999.9 kWh/yr 1000–1249.9 kWh/yr
1992 4.4 28.9 37.5 13.6 15.6
1993 4.1 28.9 53.6 0.1 13.2
1994 4.3 24.0 54.6 0.0 17.1
1995 3.2 16.2 68.5 0.8 11.3
1996 4.2 11.8 82.8 1.1 0.2
1997 4.9 12.9 80.7 1.4 0.0
1998 3.2 8.8 87.0 1.0 0.0
1999 2.7 7.2 88.3 1.8 0.0
2000 2.7 7.7 84.6 5.0 0.0
2001 2.3 4.3 87.1 6.3 0.0
2002 2.5 5.2 85.5 6.7 0.0
2003 2.7 10.0 77.0 10.3 0.0
2004 4.0 4.4 75.3 16.3 0.0
2005 6.1 3.2 74.1 16.6 0.0
2006 6.1 2.8 69.8 21.2 0.0
2007 4.9 2.9 67.8 24.4 0.0
2008 4.6 2.2 60.7 32.5 0.0
2009 4.2 1.7 56.1 38.1 0.0
2010 3.0 1.7 53.4 41.9 0.0
2011 2.1 3.3 45.5 49.1 0.0
2012 2.8 3.5 42.0 51.6 0.0
2013 3.1 4.5 43.4 49.0 0.0
2014 2.4 9.8 48.1 39.7 0.0
2015 2.3 11.6 50.9 35.2 0.0

Drum capacity

The increase in shipments of more energy-consuming clothes dryers is mainly due to the popularity of larger capacity units. The average drum capacity of dryers increased by 25% from 1992 to 2015. Conversely, the average energy consumption per drum litre has decreased at an equal rate during the same period. This indicates that consumers are now drying more clothes per load and that each load is consuming less energy.


Drum capacity of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (litres)

Drum capacity of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (litres)

Text version

Drum capacity of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (litres)

Model year Average electric clothes dryer drum capacity
1992 161.59
1993 162.75
1994 171.17
1995 174.61
1996 172.68
1997 174.75
1998 174.05
1999 171.75
2000 174.68
2001 175.27
2002 176.30
2003 177.10
2004 176.85
2005 175.44
2006 179.72
2007 181.39
2008 182.76
2009 188.34
2010 194.80
2011 195.30
2012 195.70
2013 196.80
2014 200.50
2015 201.26

Average energy consumption of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (kWh/litre)

Average energy consumption of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (kWh/litre)

Text version

Average energy consumption of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2015 (kWh/litre)

Model year Average energy consumption
1992 6.08
1993 5.70
1994 5.32
1995 5.21
1996 5.14
1997 5.08
1998 5.17
1999 5.28
2000 5.21
2001 5.23
2002 5.19
2003 5.16
2004 5.16
2005 5.15
2006 5.03
2007 5.03
2008 5.01
2009 4.89
2010 4.78
2011 4.78
2012 4.74
2013 4.71
2014 4.61
2015 4.59