Minnesota clothes dryer study

This website describes the clothes dryer study for the Minnesota households we’ll be recruiting for the full study. Most of the content applies to the households we’re recruiting to test our monitoring procedures as well. To get started, answer a few questions on our short application or reach out to Joe Clark for more info.

Now recruiting 30 Twin Cities area households for the Minnesota Clothes Dryer Study. See below for more information and answer a few questions on our short application to tell us you are interested.

A research team funded by a Minnesota Department of Commerce grant is looking for 30 Twin Cities area households with newer electric clothes dryers to participate in a research study of dryer usage and performance. Participants earn up to $250 for testing out two dryers (their own and one that the study supplies). See below for more information and benefits of participating.

The study will allow Minnesota energy providers to make informed decisions about future rebates for clothes dryers. Aggregate study results will be available here in early 2020. (Individual study participant data will remain confidential and not be included in any public reporting.)

Information for Minnesota households who are interested in participating

We are recruiting 30 Twin Cities area households to participate in our clothes dryer study. To learn more, please contact study recruitment coordinator Joe Clark at clark@evergreenecon.com or (971) 888-7479.

Benefits of participating include:
• A $200 or 250 gift card (depending on participation level)
• The chance to test a different type of clothes dryer at no cost to you—and keep it if you prefer
• A free air leakage test (blower door test) of your home
• Experience with a statewide research study that helps promote energy efficiency
• Helping Minnesota’s energy providers make informed decisions about future rebates for clothes dryers that can help households save money and energy

Participants will be asked to use each of two dryers for up to six months each, take part in an intake and exit telephone interview, keep a dryer journal and assist with tracking laundry loads, and allow the study team to install monitoring equipment. For details, see our study brochure under resources or call us.

All personal in-home dryer usage data will be kept confidential and will be reported only anonymously by the study team.

Ready to participate? Answer a few questions on our short application to let us know you would like to participate in our study. We'll contact you soon to let you know if you qualify, and if you do, what the next steps will be. Or contact study recruitment coordinator Joe Clark at clark@evergreenecon.com or (971) 888-7479.

FAQ for study participants

How do I earn the $250?
Participating households that complete the study will receive $200 as a thank you. We are offering an additional $50 bonus for households that are able to store one of the study dryers in their home for six months.

What kind of second dryer will I get to try out?
That depends on what kind of dryer you currently have or just bought. If your dryer is a conventional electric dryer, we will buy a heat pump or hybrid dryer for you to try out. These dryers are usually valued in the $1,000 to $1,600 range and offer energy savings while drying clothes at a lower temperature. That usually also results in longer dryer cycles. We will work with you to identify a heat pump or hybrid dryer that is appropriate for your household. If you currently have or just bought a heat pump or hybrid dryer, we will buy a comparable conventional dryer for you to use as a comparison.

Will I have two dryers at the same time?
No, we will ask you to use the two dryers sequentially, each one for up to six months. We will store the dryer you are not using or offer a $50 participation bonus to you if you are able to store it in a garage or basement.

Which dryer do I get to keep at the end of the study?
At the end of the study, we will ask you which dryer you would prefer to keep and ensure that dryer is installed when your participation ends.

What happens to the dryer I don’t choose?
The study team will donate the dryer you don’t choose for use by a local non-profit serving Minnesotans, so it will be put to good use for the remainder of its useful life.

How often and long will the field technicians be at my house?
We envision the following visits by study team representatives, which we will schedule at your convenience. You only need to be home; we don’t require anything more of you while the technicians are there.

Visit 1 – Electrician visits the home to install metering equipment in the electric panel (1 hour)

Visit 2 – Study team member visits the home to install additional metering equipment and do an air leakage test on your home (4 hours)

Visit 3 – Study team member visits the home to remove all study-related equipment (1 hour)

As needed – 1 to 3 visits to install or swap dryers (1 hour each)

Who will be conducting the visit at my house?
The in-home visits will be performed by the Twin Cities-based Center for Energy and Environment (CEE). For the installation of an energy meter at your circuit breaker box, we will use a licensed electrician hired by CEE. For more information about CEE, please visit www.mncee.org.

What if I move during the study period?
If you know you will move during the study period, we would ask you not to volunteer for the study. However, we understand that unexpected moves do happen. If you should move during the study, we will work with you to unenroll you from the study. In isolated circumstances, you may be able to continue participating if you so choose and move locally.

What if I decide I want to stop participating during the study period?
You can choose to stop participating at any time. If you do, you won’t be eligible for the participation incentives. We will remove all monitoring equipment and ensure your original dryer (the one you bought) is properly installed.

Does study participation affect my dryer’s warranty?
No. None of the measurement equipment we install will be connected directly to the dryer. Study participation has no effect on your dryer’s warranty. If you choose to keep the dryer the study purchases for you, you will be covered by that dryer manufacturer’s warranty after your study participation ends.

I want to participate in the study. What do I do next?
Answer a few questions on our short application to let us know you would like to participate in our study. We'll contact you soon to let you know if you qualify, and if you do, what the next steps will be. Or contact study recruitment coordinator Joe Clark at clark@evergreenecon.com or (971) 888-7479.

Information for Minnesota retailers

We are offering incentives for participating retailers who promote the study to eligible dryer purchasers. For more information, contact Joe Clark at clark@evergreenecon.com or (971) 888-7479.

Information for utility and energy efficiency professionals

Study results will be available in early 2020. Stay tuned for a public report, a webinar, and anonymized data to be posted on this page. For more information about the study, contact Scott Pigg at spigg@slipstreaminc.org.