The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that, for the first time ever, it will rate clothes dryers based on a new specification that recognizes electric, gas, and compact dryers that use around 20% less energy than the minimum requirements for 2015. Why is that important? Because dryers use a huge amount of energy. Over 80% of U.S. homes have a clothes dryer, and they account for around 6% of all residential electricity use. According to the EPA, "if all residential clothes dryers sold in the U.S. meet these new requirements, the utility cost savings will grow to more than $1.5 billion each year and more than 22 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented."
The greenest way to dry clothes is still the good old clothes line, though:
But for those who are looking for something a bit more high-tech, or who don't live somewhere where drying clothes outside is practical for a good part of the year, dryers that use heat pump technology (one model can be seen below) can cut energy use by 50%, which is very significant. They are already popular in Europe where electricity is more expensive, and they're coming to North-America.