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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.