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What are the most energy efficient dishwashers?

By Aaron West

Choosing an inefficient dishwasher could add almost £300 to your energy bills over its lifetime and be much worse for the environment.

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The true cost of your dishwasher, on both your wallet and the planet, will vary wildly depending on if you get an energy-efficient model or one that's wasteful.

In this article:

Most energy-efficient dishwashers

Sharp QW-GD54R443X

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This is the most energy efficient dishwasher we’ve ever tested. It costs just £39 a year to run, despite cleaning 15 place settings. But will it leave your dishes needing an extra wash in the sink?

Smeg DI613PNH

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This dishwasher has the highest possible energy rating of A+++, and costs just £39 a year to run. There's no point being efficient if it's awful at cleaning, though. Read our review to find out how this dishwasher fared in our tests.

Bosch SPV66TX01E

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This Bosch bucks the trend that slimlines aren't as efficient as full-sized models. It would cost just £35 a year to run, based on using the eco program five times a week. But can you trust it to shift tough grime and leave your dishes sparkling?

Dishwasher energy running costs explained

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.

£290The difference in energy costs over eight years between the most and least efficient full-sized 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 - where five stars is the best and one is the worst. The most inefficient dishwasher we've tested would add £75 to your yearly energy bills, while the best adds just £39. 

You can find information about the running costs of each dishwasher in our dishwasher reviews.

Why you can't always trust EU energy labels

Energy labels are based on a manufacturer nominated program – so often the eco program. But this doesn’t give a good indication of how efficient the machine will be on its auto or normal program.

For example, compare these two 13 place setting dishwashers:

  • The normal program on the Hotpoint FDFEX11011K is efficient – it would cost just £51.68 a year to run. It gets A+ rating, not A++ or A+++.
  • Compare this with the A+++ rated AEG FFE63806PW. It would cost £67.05 a year to run using its auto program - £15.37 more, despite the better energy label.

Dishwasher energy-saving tips

Use your dishwasher's eco programs

Run your dishwasher on its energy-saving or eco program. This will take longer than the main program to get your dishes clean, but will use less energy and water. 

Eco programs wash dishes at lower temperatures and with less water, but for longer to still ensure a thorough clean. On average, economy programs use 30% less energy and water compared with the main program.

Load your dishwasher properly

Aim for a full load each time, but be careful not to overfill the dishwasher. Make sure water from the spray arms can reach every item, if not some won't get cleaned properly. 

Large items should go at the back and sides of the racks, too. If big plates are at the front, they can stop the water from reaching the detergent dispenser.

Check out guide on how to load your dishwasher for more advice.

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 in 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.

We can help you save money on your energy bills. Use our independent free switching site, Which? Switch, to find the cheapest energy deal.


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