Rebates Reduce Cost of Water-Efficient Clothes Washers

American families average roughly one load of laundry a day. That not only means a lot of sorting darks and lights, but also using a lot of water.

The U.S. EPA estimates 76 million top-loading clothes washers with agitators are in use nationwide, and 25 million of them are at least 10 years old. Pre-1998 washers are far less efficient than newer models. Together, they cost consumers $2.8 billion each year in energy and water, according to the EPA.

Thankfully, a new generation of high-efficiency clothes washers can use up to an estimated 65 percent less water and 55 percent less energy than their conventional counterparts. Plus, they can save on detergent because they don’t require as much soap. Some people also say low-water washers clean better – and they certainly are gentler on clothes.

While  high-efficiency washers cost more than typical machines, rebates can ease the financial sting.  For starters, the SoCal Water$mart program offers $85 per qualifying clothes washer. In addition, San Diego Gas & Electric offers $50 for clothes washers that are labeled Energy Star. Several high-efficiency models qualify for both rebates, meaning you can save money and water at the same time.