Efficient residential clothes dryers use less energy than other dryers to remove moisture from clothing. Conventional electric dryers use electric resistance heating to dry the clothes. Efficient conventional dryers use auto-termination controls effectively to minimize over-drying. More efficient electric dryers use heat pumps for heating.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) has done extensive research in recent years to 1) demonstrate that the current federal performance metric, the Combined Energy Factor (CEF), is not an accurate predictor of dryer energy consumption in real world settings and 2) establish a performance metric that more reliably predicts dryer energy consumption in the field. As a result of this research, NEEA has developed the Utility Combined Energy Factor (UCEF) performance metric.
This measure contains Proven applications for dryers based on their UCEF performance. While the measure is agnostic to what technologies are used to achieve particular UCEF value, the RTF expects that only heat pump dryers (including hybrid heat pump and resistance dryers) will qualify.
This measure also contains Planning applications for ENERGY STAR qualified products that do not require a UCEF rating. The RTF expects that dryers that meet this description would be conventional (electric-resistance) ENERGY STAR dryers. While UCEF-rating is not a requirement of the measure application, typical UCEF performance is needed to estimate savings. To date, only one ENERGY STAR electric resistance dryer has been UCEF-tested. More certain knowledge of ENERGY STAR electric resistance dryer UCEF performance – and its difference from non-ENERGY STAR electric resistance dryer UCEF performance – is necessary to prove out these applications.
There are measure applications for both vented and ventless dryers because of the differences in how these technologies interact with HVAC loads.
Dryers must have a capacity of 4.0 cubic feet or greater to qualify for this measure. This is slightly smaller than the federal definition of a standard size dryer, which is 4.4 cubic feet.