Things are a little different in Europe. You don't buy gas, but "petrol;" instead of a bar, you drink at the "pub;" and instead of Energy Star, they've got the European Union Energy Label.
Unlike our big dumb blue star, the EU energy label specifies a full range of efficiency levels—from "D" (lousy) to "A" (great). Beyond that, it's possible to earn an exemplary "A+," an amazing "A++," or an excessive "A+++."
Well, now it might be time for a fourth plus sign.
During a press conference at the IFA trade show, Executive Director and Miele Co-Proprietor Dr. Reinhard Zinkann announced their new flagship washer (known internally as the "W1 Prestige") will exceed the requirements for A+++ certification by a whopping 40%, and do so in a cycle that's quicker than three hours. Another cycle will clean clothing in less than an hour but with less energy efficiency.
"This washing machine is likely to stand peerless in the marketplace," said Dr. Zinkann, as quoted by ApplianceMagazine.com.
The model will also have a touch display, a "SoftCare" drum that's gentle on fabrics, and an "EcoFeedback" power consumption indicator. It will also feature a conventional detergent dispenser, as well as a 2-phase liquid detergent dispenser.
The matching dryer will carry an EU efficiency rating of A+++.
It's high time washers and dryers receive the level of efficiency innovation that has thus far been reserved for fridges. Dryers are among the most wasteful appliances in the modern American home, and until recently were not even included in the Energy Star program.