Not content to kill people with CAFE standards the Federal government is now messing up our laundry. So called "energy-efficiency" standards have severely reduced the cleaning ability of new laundry marchines. Who says? Here is Consumer Reports:
Not so long ago you could count on most washers to get your clothes
very clean. Not anymore. Our latest tests found huge performance
differences among machines. Some left our stain-soaked swatches nearly
as dirty as they were before washing. For best results, you’ll have to
spend $900 or more. (italics added)
happened? As of January, the U.S. Department of Energy has required
washers to use 21 percent less energy, a goal we wholeheartedly
support. But our tests have found that traditional top-loaders, those
with the familiar center-post agitators, are having a tough time
wringing out those savings without sacrificing cleaning ability, the
main reason you buy a washer.
I too support the goal of having washers use 21 percent less energy. Hell, I support the goal of having washers use no energy at all. Let’s pass a law.
Energy efficiency sounds so nice. Who could be against efficiency? Tradeofs, however, cannot be avoided. Thus, energy-efficiency really means that the government is going to choose how white your shirts are gonna be.
Ironically, the law could well reduce cleanliness and increase energy use. If the new washers are as bad as Consumer Reports say they are people will just start to wash everything twice.
Addendum 1: Prominent members of a certain political party often promote the theory that "if we make them build it, the savings will come"
but, as we all know, ignoring tradeoffs is a sure sign of discredited crackpot economics.
Addendum 2: CEI suggests you email some virtual underwear to the Secretary of Energy in protest.