Mac-Gray News

For a powerful weapon against rising water and energy costs, look to the laundry room!

New 2007 ENERGY STAR standards for washing machines a true win-win for owners and residents

April 11, 2007

These days, property managers are searching for every possible way to reduce energy and utility bills. One of the simplest, most effective solutions is to equip your laundry areas with high efficiency front-loading washing machines. That’s been true for a while now. But the benefits are even more dramatic today, because washing machines in 2007 must be more efficient than ever to qualify for ENERGY STAR certification.

It’s a fact: washers and dryers consume a lot of energy and water. And older machines tend to be the biggest offenders of all. As a result, many local utility companies and laundry vendors are offering rebates to spur the replacement of older machines with high-efficient front-load laundry equipment. These rebates can help defray initial purchase or lease costs, and easily save a property hundreds of dollars per machine. And for a limited time, Mac-Gray is offering rebates on energy-efficient Maytag commercial washing machines placed in operation in apartments, condos, co-ops, colleges, and universities. For more details and to receive a FREE, no-obligation quote, click on link:
http://www.macgray.com/energy_cut.html

 

As great as these rebates are, the purchase savings will be dwarfed by the reductions in water, sewer and energy costs a property will enjoy over the long term. To conform to the ENERGY STAR standards for 2007, machines must meet two criteria:

· Modified Energy Factor - This measures total energy consumption per cycle – including the dryer energy used to remove moisture in washed items. The higher the value, the more efficient the washer. Before 2007, the minimum MEF was 1.42. Now it’s 1.72, a significant increase.

· Water Factor - This is new to the ENERGY STAR formula. It measures the washer’s water use in gallons per cycle per cubic foot. The lower the value, the more efficient the washer. Qualifying machines must have a maximum Water Factor of 8.0.

Long-term savings plus revenue increases can reach well into five figures.

Based on national averages, a clothes washer that meets these two criteria, running two cycles per day, could cut your utility costs by around $130 each year. Multiply that figure by the number of machines at your property, and the number of years they will be used, and you’re looking at serious savings. For example, ten washers over the course of ten years could save you a total of $13,000.

Several manufacturers offer high-efficiency front-load washing machines, and exact savings can vary from company to company. But in all cases, these machines will cut your operating costs significantly. Plus, there are benefits to be gained on the revenue side as well. Since most ENERGY STAR qualified washers have more capacity than conventional clothes washers, you can charge a higher vend price to increase revenue.

Whether a property outsources its laundry program or manages its own facilities, these financial benefits make high efficiency machines a clear winner. Some laundry service providers may recommend less efficient top load washers, which are less expensive to purchase and install. But it’s important to look beyond the short term. All properties should make sure high-efficiency equipment is specified in any agreement. It’s a highly effective way to reduce water and energy costs and increase the profitability of any laundry operation – whether that operation is owned or leased.

For residents, it’s not about energy savings. These machines just perform better.

And how do residents feel about these machines? Generally, they love them. These large-capacity machines let them do more laundry in less time, and clean big bulky items more easily. Because these washers have no agitator, the cleaning process is gentler, so clothes tend to last longer. And because the washers extract much more water during the spin cycle, residents can save time on the drying side. Today, machines can even be connected to the Internet, so residents can check availability and load status via computer, cell phone or PDA. As a result, resident acceptance is typically very high, which in turn increases laundry room usage and profitability.

Take action to minimize energy consumption and maximize resident satisfaction.

The bottom line: Choosing ENERGY STAR qualified washers will significantly reduce the cost to operate your laundry facilities, while providing residents with the best possible amenity. I’m sure you’ll agree a win-win scenario like that is pretty rare in business. So you should definitely take advantage. Thanks to the strict new ENERGY STAR standards, 2007 is the best year yet to make your move.

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