Big Gains Over Time in the Energy-Efficiency of Household Appliances Make Us Better Off
The chart above shows the dramatic gains in energy efficiency over the last 20 years for clothes washers and dishwashers, based on historical data from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. In the 11-year period between 1993 and 2004, the energy efficiency of clothes washers doubled from 2.71 kWh/cycle to 1.22 kWh/cycle, and then doubled again in the six year period from 2004 to 2010 to 0.66 kWh/cycle. The increase in energy efficiency for dishwashers has been less dramatic, but energy efficiency for dishwashers has roughly doubled since 1990, from 2.67 kWh/cycle to 1.37 kWh.
Although not reported here, there have been similar efficiency gains in the amount of energy required to operate today's freezers, air conditioners, and refrigerators (energy efficiency has doubled since 1990).