1. Its quiet. We've since moved our laundry to the first floor from the basement and the sound is just a background hum in our daily life.
2. Less water use. HE washers use 18-25 gallons of water per wash compared to the 40 of standard washers. We noticed a reduction on our water bill when we got ours.
3. Less energy to run them (the HE part). The Focus on Energy website says that you can save $110 on your annual energy bills compared to a model before 1994. They also state that the combined electric and water energy is 50% less. Our btu's did go down that year for us as well, although this wasn't the only change we made.
4. Spins the clothes drier so that they need less time in the drier, saving more energy and money.
5. Apparently more gentle on clothes making them last longer. Not sure this can combat the normal usage of a 9 year-old boy.
6. Because these are energy star rated, you get a cash back rebate from Focus on Energy.
The only downside that I've seen is that they cycles take longer than some models. I can't get all my laundry down in one day a week. I have switched to a little each day (part of my morning routine) and this works well for me.
For more info on energy saving appliances, go to Focus on Energy at