Dishwasher Energy Consumption: Does it Really Use a Lot of Electricity?

Do you use your dishwasher every day without thinking much about how much electricity it consumes? Did you know that dishwashers can account for up to 2% of your home’s energy use?

In this post, we’ll answer the question: does a dishwasher use a lot of electricity? We’ll also share some tips on how to reduce your dishwasher’s energy consumption and save money on your utility bills.

We’ll look at how much electricity different types of dishwashers use, how to compare their energy efficiency ratings, and how to optimize your dishwasher settings and habits for maximum savings.

How Much Electricity Does a Dishwasher Use?

The amount of electricity your dishwasher uses depends on several factors, such as its size, capacity, age, model, features, cycle options, load size, water temperature, and detergent type. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average dishwasher uses about 270 kWh per year, which translates to about $35 in annual electricity costs.

A standard-sized dishwasher that holds 12 place settings uses about 1.5 kWh per cycle on average. A compact-sized dishwasher that holds 8 place settings uses about 1 kWh per cycle on average. A portable or countertop dishwasher that holds 6 place settings uses about 0.8 kWh per cycle on average.

How to Compare Dishwasher Energy Efficiency Ratings

Energy efficiency ratings are labels that indicate how much energy an appliance uses compared to similar models in its category. They help you compare different dishwashers and choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. The most common energy efficiency rating for dishwashers is the Energy Star label, which is awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). To earn an Energy Star label, a dishwasher must use at least 41% less energy than the federal minimum standard for its category.

An Energy Star certified dishwasher can save you up to $25 per year in electricity costs compared to a standard one. Over its lifetime, an Energy Star certified dishwasher can save you up to $300 in electricity costs compared to a standard one.

How to Optimize Your Dishwasher Settings and Habits for Maximum Savings

There are several ways to reduce your dishwasher’s energy consumption by adjusting its settings and changing your habits.

  1. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full: Running a full load is more efficient than running multiple small loads.
  2. Choose shorter or eco-friendly cycles: Shorter cycles use less water and energy than longer cycles. Eco-friendly cycles are designed to use less water and energy, so they’re a great option for those looking to save money.
  3. Avoid pre-rinsing or hand-washing dishes before loading them: Pre-rinsing or hand-washing dishes can waste water and energy. Just scrape off any leftover food scraps before loading them into the dishwasher.
  4. Use cold water or lower water temperature settings: Hot water uses more energy, so using cold water or lower temperature settings can help you save money.
  5. Use less or more efficient detergent: Using too much detergent can waste water and energy. Using a more efficient detergent can help you save money.
  6. Air-dry or towel-dry dishes instead of using the heat-dry option: The heat-dry option uses more energy, so air-drying or towel-drying your dishes can help you save money.
  7. Unplug or turn off your dishwasher when not in use: Unplugging or turning off your dishwasher when not in use can help you save energy and reduce your electricity bill.


In conclusion, dishwashers do use a lot of electricity, but there are ways to reduce their impact on your energy bills and the environment.

By choosing an energy-efficient model, comparing its ratings, and optimizing its settings and habits, you can save money and energy while enjoying clean dishes every day.

Consider implementing these tips to reduce the amount of electricity that your dishwasher consumes and take a step towards an energy-efficient home. Saving energy not only benefits the environment but can also help you save money in the long run.

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