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Dishwasher energy running costs

By Hannah Walsh

Don't just look at a dishwasher's price tag – use our tool before you buy, to work out what the lifetime cost of your dishwasher will be.

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Your dishwasher can add more than £60 a year to your energy bill. That's on top of the initial purchase price, water rates and the cost of dishwasher detergent.

Taking running costs into account when its time to buy a new dishwasher will save you hundreds over your appliance's lifetime.

Energy-saving dishwashers

When we test and review dishwashers, we calculate the annual energy running costs – as well as how good they are at getting your plates sparkling clean – to make it easy for you to identify the models that are cheapest to run.

£259The difference in energy costs over seven years between the most and least efficient dishwashers

Although most dishwashers have an official A rating for energy efficiency, we test hundreds of dishwashers and we've found significant differences in electricity and water use.

Which? gives each model a star rating of one to five for energy and water use. The most inefficient dishwasher we've tested would add £64 to your yearly energy bills, while the best adds just £27. 

Look out for dishwashers with a Which? energy efficiency rating of four stars or more.

As well as using our tool below, you can find information about the running costs of each dishwasher in our dishwasher reviews.

Dishwashers energy cost calculator

Dishwasher energy-saving tips

Use your dishwasher's eco programs Run your dishwasher on its energy-save or eco program. This will take longer than the main program to get your dishes clean, but will use about two litres less water. And if you wash your dishes without soaking or pre-rinsing, you'll save even more water.

Energy-save or eco programs also use the least amount of energy. They wash dishes at lower temperatures, so don't need as much energy to heat the water. On average, energy-save programs use about 20% less energy than the main program.

Load your dishwasher properly Aim for a full load each time. But be careful not to overfill the dishwasher, though, as this could prevent some items from getting cleaned properly. Large items should go at the back and sides of the racks – if big plates are at the front, they can stop the water from reaching the detergent dispenser.

Switch to green dishwasher detergents Try using 'green' dishwasher detergents that are free from petrochemicals, phosphates and chlorine. Their performance can be variable, so they might not always be suitable, but their green credentials are credible. Head over to our dishwasher detergent reviews to find out which detergents we rate. 

Check out cheap electricity tariffs Some electricity tariffs, such as Economy 7, charge less per unit at night than in the daytime to encourage power usage at off-peak times and to smooth out demand on the grid. If you're on one of these tariffs, using the delayed-start function to run your machine at night will knock some money off your electricity bill.

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