We had hoped and encouraged the Obama administration to streamline the standards for Laundromat clothes washers, advocating a single category standard for both front and top-loading washers. Not so.
Today the Department of Energy released the latest standard, dividing these coin laundry machines into separate categories. Two separate standards leads to weak guidelines for top-loading machines—which typically use far more energy and water than front-loading washers. A single standard would have weeded the most inefficient top-loading machines from the market.
Manufacturers are already making top-loading residential washing machines that are as efficient as front-loading washers, and a uniform standard would have spurred manufacturers to sell these more efficient machines in the commercial market.