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Energy Consumption of Major Household Appliances Shipped in Canada – Trends for 1990-2003

5  Clothes Washers

5.1   2003 Market Snapshot

In 2003, the shipment-weighted average annual unit energy consumption of clothes washers was 708 kilowatt hours (kWh).

Among standard models, 16.3 percent qualified as ENERGY STAR® products, with an energy consumption level of less than 544 kWh per year.

Front-loading and top-loading clothes washers are the two types of clothes washers shipped on the Canadian market. Overall, front-loading clothes washers are more energy efficient. In 2003, the shipment-weighted average annual energy consumption for front-loading clothes washers was 275 kWh per year, compared with 827 kWh per year for top-loading clothes washers.

FIGURE 5.1
Energy Consumption of Clothes Washer Models Available in 2003

Energy Consumption of Clothes Washer Models Available in 2003.

5.2  Distribution of Shipments

5.2.1  Distribution by Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption

TABLE 5.1
Distribution of Clothes Washers by Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption
Model
Year
kWh/yr.
<600 600-699.9 700-799.9 800-899.9 900-999.9 1000-1099.9 >1100
  (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%)
1990 0.0 1.8 0.0 10.9 23.0 11.9 52.4
1991 0.0 0.4 0.0 21.8 12.2 12.8 52.9
1992 0.0 0.1 0.0 10.4 12.2 26.8 50.5
1993 0.0 0.1 0.3 15.6 13.4 38.0 32.6
1994 0.0 0.2 0.5 23.5 25.5 45.8 4.5
1995 0.0 0.4 0.5 26.7 28.0 42.7 1.8
1996 0.2 1.5 0.6 34.9 17.9 42.9 2.0
1997 2.7 1.6 0.3 37.1 10.4 46.1 1.8
1998 7.8 1.1 1.8 28.5 11.1 48.1 1.5
1999 11.9 1.6 10.3 18.4 31.3 25.4 1.0
2000 13.3 0.8 12.9 15.7 45.9 10.5 0.9
2001 17.1 0.3 13.1 14.9 51.6 3.0 0.0
2002 22.3 0.1 12.5 14.5 45.5 5.0 0.0
2003 32.9 0.2 10.3 18.2 36.9 1.6 0.0
Average
Annual
Change
+2.5% -0.1% +0.8% +0.6% +1.1% -0.8% -4.0%

As shown in Table 5.1, the energy consumption of clothes washers improved significantly during the study period. In 1990, well over half (64.3 percent) of the clothes washers shipped used more than 1000 kWh per year. By 2003, practically all (98.4 percent) clothes washers were below that level. The proportion of clothes washers that consumed over 1100 kWh per year almost disappeared.

FIGURE 5.2
Distribution of Clothes Washers by Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption for 1990

Distribution of Clothes Washers by Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption for 1990.

FIGURE 5.2
Distribution of Clothes Washers by Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption for 2003

Distribution of Clothes Washers by Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption for 2003.

5.3  Energy Consumption

5.3.1  Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption by Model Year

Between 1990 and 2003, the average annual unit energy consumption of clothes washers improved remarkably. As Figure 5.3 shows, the average annual unit energy consumption decreased by 510 kWh, or about 42 percent.

FIGURE 5.3
Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption of Clothes Washers by Model Year*

Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption of Clothes Washers by Model Year.

* For greater detail, see Table C.11.

5.4  Energy Savings

It is estimated that the annual energy consumption for clothes washers was slightly less from 1993 to 2003 than it would have been without the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and improvements in energy efficiency. The annual savings have been increasing steadily since 1996.

Figure 5.4 illustrates the likely annual energy consumption for clothes washers if manufacturers had not met the MEPS and improved technology (top line) and how much energy actually was consumed (bottom line).

FIGURE 5.4
Annual Energy Savings by Clothes Washers, 1992-2003*

Annual Energy Savings by Clothes Washers, 1992-2003.

* For greater detail, see Table C.12.

Graphically, the divergence of the two lines in the figure represents incremental annual energy savings. On average, clothes washers would have consumed 0.58 petajoules (PJ) more per year without the MEPS and technological improvements. The largest annual energy savings occurred in 2003, when clothes washers consumed about 1.16 PJ less than they otherwise might have.

The cumulative energy savings for clothes washers are shown in Figure 5.5. There was steady growth between 1992 and 2003, and accrued energy savings reached 6.37 PJ in 2003.

FIGURE 5.5
Cumulative Energy Savings for Clothes Washers, 1992-2003*

Cumulative Energy Savings fors Clothes Washers, 1992-2003.

* For greater detail, see Table C.12.

To summarize, the energy efficiency of clothes washers improved steadily between 1990 and 2003. By 2003, 98.4 percent of all clothes washers consumed less than 1000 kWh per year; whereas in 1990, well over half (64.3 percent) consumed more than 1000 kWh per year. The average annual energy savings for clothes washers were estimated to be 0.58 PJ between 1993 and 2003, with total energy savings for that period reaching 6.37 PJ.