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Energy Labels for Clothes Washers to Require New Ranges of Comparability

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a final rule amending its Energy Labeling Rule to establish new ranges of comparability for required EnergyGuide labels on clothes washers. The updated ranges of estimated annual operating costs in U.S. dollars per year are US$8 (low) and US$51 (high) for standard clothes washers (i.e., all household clothes washers with a tub capacity of at least 1.6 cubic feet) and US$10 (low) and US$24 (high) for compact clothes washers (i.e., all household clothes washers with a tub capacity of less than 1.6 cubic feet). Manufacturers have until 11 May to begin using the updated ranges on their labels. This rule also removes obsolete regulatory text applicable to models produced before 7 March 2015.

The Energy Labeling Rule requires manufacturers of a range of appliances to disclose specific energy consumption or efficiency information (derived from Department of Energy test procedures) at the point of sale. Energy information on these consumer products must be disclosed so that consumers may compare the energy use or efficiency of competing models. For home appliances, the information must be disclosed in the form of an EnergyGuide label affixed to each unit and must appear in catalogues and on Internet sites from which covered products can be ordered. Labels must also include a range of comparability that shows the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiencies for all similar appliance models. Labels for most appliances must provide the product’s estimated annual operating cost and manufacturers are required to calculate this cost using national average cost figures for energy published by the DOE.

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