How Much Energy Does a Dishwasher Use?

By Erin Hynes | Dec. 14, 2021 10:46 am PST

Dishwashers use between about 200 and 800 kWh per year of electricity—costing between $2 and $8 per month to operate (based on an average electricity cost of 12 cents per kWh). The exact amount of energy that your dishwasher uses depends on its age and design. Newer dishwashers are more efficient than older models because the US Department of Energy (DOE) set energy use standards that require manufacturers to build more efficient dishwashers in 2013.

To further reduce energy use, manufacturers also offer ultra-efficient ENERGY STAR® dishwashers that save you more money than standard dishwashers and help the environment.

How Much Energy Does a New Dishwasher Use?

Any dishwasher built after 2012 will use less than 307 kWh per year of electricity in compliance with DOE manufacturing guidelines. That amount of energy use costs around $3 per month or less on your electric bill.

If you’re shopping for a new dishwasher, you’ll see the exact energy use of every model listed on its EnergyGuide® label. You can also see the label online if you’re shopping for a new dishwasher on the web.

That annual energy usage listed on the EnergyGuide® label is based on using your dishwasher 215 times per year (4 times per week). If you use it every day (365 times peryea r), your dishwasher will use 40% more energy than listed on the EnergyGuide® tag. A new dishwasher meeting the minimum DOE standard (307 kWh per year costing $3 per month) will use 430 kWh per year and cost you about $4.30 per month on your electric bill.

How Much Energy Does an ENERGY STAR® Dishwasher Use?

When you see the ENERGY STAR® emblem on your dishwasher, you can trust that it uses less than 270 kWh per year of electricity. ENERGY STAR’s® most efficient dishwashers in 2021 use only 199 kWh per year of electricity costing about $2 per month. ENERGY STAR® uses 215 cycles per year (4 cycles/week) to rate dishwasher energy use. Using an ENERGY STAR® certified dishwasher every day (365 cycles per year) will cost you between $3 and $4 per month to run.

How Much Energy Does an Older Dishwasher Use?

Dishwashers manufactured before 2004 weren’t limited on energy use by the DOE. If you have a dishwasher built in that era, it could be using up to 800 kWh per year of energy. For example, dishwashers built in 1993 averaged energy use of 686 kWh per year costing an average of $7 per month to run.**

Beginning in 2004, DOE energy use standards required manufacturers to build dishwashers that use less than 467 kWh per year. If your dishwasher was built after 2004, it will cost you less than $5 per month to run.

In 2012, the DOE enacted current energy use standards described above for new dishwashers. If you have a 2013 or newer model, it will use less than 307 kWh per year and cost less than $3 per month to operate.

Because the DOE and manufacturers have agreed that dishwashers have reached peak efficiency under the 2012 standards, stricter energy use guidelines aren’t anticipated by the DOE going forward.

If you have an older dishwasher that isn’t energy-efficient, replace it with a new model to take advantage of energy savings and help the environment.

To keep your dishwasher operating efficiently, follow cleaning and maintenance guidelines in your owner’s manual. Additionally, help your dishwasher last longer and stay in top shape by scheduling annual maintenance checks by a technician.

**According to research by the Florida Solar Energy Center.

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