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Home & garden.

Updated: 5 Apr 2022

What are the most energy efficient dishwashers?

Choosing an inefficient dishwasher could add more than £500 to your energy bills over its lifetime and be much worse for the environment.
Aaron West
Dishwasher eco programme

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.

See which is the best dishwasher or head to our dishwasher reviews.

Best Eco Buy dishwashers

  • 87%
    • best buy
    • eco buy

    Stubborn grime is no match for this dishwasher, and absolutely everything comes out dry and sparkling. The best bit? It does all this while using less energy and water than most.

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    Full Access first month £2.99, then £9.99 per month, cancel at any time

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  • 83%
    • best buy
    • eco buy

    Although this dishwasher is expensive to buy, it’s incredibly energy efficient, so at least you won’t be paying over the odds on your energy bills when you use it.

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    Full Access first month £2.99, then £9.99 per month, cancel at any time

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  • 82%
    • best buy
    • eco buy

    We were so impressed with this dishwasher’s brilliant cleaning, fantastic drying, and incredibly low energy use we’ve made it both a Which? Best Buy and Eco Buy.

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    Full Access first month £2.99, then £9.99 per month, cancel at any time

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  • 78%
    • best buy

    This dishwasher is second to none at cleaning and has no trouble washing away every last trace of food.

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    Full Access first month £2.99, then £9.99 per month, cancel at any time

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Last updated: 5 April 2022

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.

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 £78 to your yearly energy bills, while the best full-size models adds just £46. 

You can find information about the running costs of each model in our dishwasher lifetime cost tool.

Why you can't always trust energy labels

Energy labels are based on a manufacturer nominated program – so always 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 14 place setting dishwashers:

  • The auto program on the Miele G5260 SC would cost around £55. It gets a C rating.
  • The E-rated Bosch SMV46NX00G costs £10 less a year to run, despite the worse rating.

In March 2021, the energy label was changed to remove the A+++, A++ and A+ ratings. It now goes from A to G and has been adjusted to reflect modern standards. Although it is still only based on the eco program. Find out more by reading our story on what does the new energy label mean for you and your home.

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.