Energy Consumption of Clothes Dryers

Photo of a dryer


Key facts

  • In May 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the introduction of ENERGY STAR-certified residential clothes dryers. ENERGY STAR-certified clothes dryers use innovative energy-saving technologies to save more electricity than conventional clothes dryers.
  • The average drum capacity of clothes dryers increased 23% from 1992 to 2017. Conversely, the average energy consumption per drum litre decreased by 50%.
  • Consumers are now drying more clothes per load and each load is consuming less energy.

For more information

Average annual unit energy consumption

  • The average annual unit energy consumption (UEC) of clothes dryers was 6% lower in 2016 than 1992.
  • The significant decrease in 2017 represents changes to the test procedures used to measure energy efficiency, which were updated as a result of amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations that came into force in 2017.1 The updated test procedures mean data for the year 2017 are not directly comparable to previous years’ data (see the figure titled “Average annual UEC of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2017”).
  • The increasing market share of front-loading clothes washers has helped reduce the average energy consumed by clothes dryers because front-loading clothes washers remove more moisture from clothes than top-loading clothes washers do. Less moisture in the clothes means that less energy is consumed to dry the clothes. The effect of front-loading clothes washers on the energy consumed by clothes dryers is not reflected in the UEC data.
  • Moisture detectors in clothes dryers reduce energy consumption by automatically shutting off when a load is dry.

See Choosing and Using Appliances With EnerGuide for more information.


Average annual UEC of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2017 (kWh/yr)
Text version

Average annual UEC of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2017 (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
2016 922.9
2017 604.8
Notes: Numbers are not shown for 1990 and 1991 because the data for these years are based on a small number of shipments and may be unrepresentative of the actual market.
The vertical black line indicates that energy consumption figures from 2017 onward incorporate changes introduced in Amendment 13 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations and are not directly comparable to previous years' data.

Distribution of clothes dryer shipments by unit energy consumption

From 1992 to 2016, the share of electric clothes dryers consuming less than 900 kWh/yr decreased while the share of electric clothes dryers consuming over 950 kWh/yr increased. This change was due mainly to the growing market share of larger capacity units. In 2017, the significant increase in the share of electric clothes dryers consuming less than 800 kWh/yr represents changes to the test procedures used to measure energy efficiency, which were updated as a result of amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations that came into force in 2017.1 The updated test procedures mean that data for 2017 are not directly comparable to previous years’ data.


Distribution of electric clothes dryers by average annual UEC, 1992–2017 (%)
Text version

Distribution of electric clothes dryers by average annual UEC, 1992–2017 (%)

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
2016 2.7 6.9 58.2 32.3 0.0
2017 99.9 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0
Notes: Numbers are not shown for 1990 and 1991 because the data for these years are based on a small number of shipments and may be unrepresentative of the actual market.
The vertical black line indicates that energy consumption figures from 2017 onward incorporate changes introduced in Amendment 13 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations and are not directly comparable to previous years' data.

Drum capacity

The increase in the shipment share of more energy-intensive electric clothes dryers is due mainly to the growing average drum capacity of electric clothes dryers. The average drum capacity of electric clothes dryers increased by 23% from 1992 to 2017. Conversely, the average energy consumption per drum litre has decreased at a faster rate during the same period (53%). Consumers are drying more clothes per load, but each load is consuming less energy per unit of dryer volume.


Average drum capacity of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2017 (litres)
Text version

Average drum capacity of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2017 (litres)

Model year Average drum capacity (litres)
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
2016 202.10
2017 198.30

Average energy consumption of electric clothes dryers, 1992–2017 (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
2016 4.57
2017 3.05
Note: The vertical black line indicates that energy consumption figures from 2017 onward incorporate changes introduced in Amendment 13 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations and are not directly comparable to previous years' data.

  1. Changes to the test procedures for clothes dryers included amendment reflecting updated research on their frequency of use and on consumer habits.