How Energy Efficient is a Dishwasher?

An open dishwasher integrated into white cabinets, with an energy rating label showing A-G

We don’t know about you, but when it comes to washing up there’s always a debate in our household: which is more energy efficient? Washing up in the sink, or using the dishwasher? Let’s settle things once and for all, shall we?

How Economical is a Dishwasher?

Many factors affect how economical a dishwasher is when comparing it to hand-washing.

One of the biggest factors is the size of your household. For example, a family of four uses more pots, plates, and cutlery than someone living alone. Therefore, the dishwasher is likely to be used much more frequently and so will use more energy. A large family are also more likely to have a larger, integrated dishwasher, whereas a smaller family may have a smaller, compact dishwasher.

Other factors that affect the economic value include how dirty the pots and pans are, and the age and efficiency of your machine.

Energy Star Ratings for Dishwashers

Home appliances such as ovens, washing machines, and dishwashers are all required, by law, to carry an EU Energy Label. This label indicates how efficient, or inefficient, they are. Energy ratings for dishwashers range from a costly-to-run G to the most efficient A.

The sliding grade scale is based on their kWh consumption (how many units of energy they use per hour). The lower their energy consumption, the more efficient the appliance is. According to Which?, you could save up to £1,298 by choosing an energy efficient full-sized dishwasher over its lifetime (as of May 2024). That’s a lot of money!

Using a Dishwasher Vs Washing Up: Which is the Best?

So, this is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Which is the best for saving money and energy: washing up, or using the dishwasher?

It may come as a surprise, but a study carried out by revealed that using the dishwasher is far more economical than hand washing. They found when washing up four standard place settings (including plates, bowls, mugs, and glasses) washing by hand used 12 gallons of water. That’s a whopping 3.5 times as much water as their chosen Bosch dishwasher. In comparison, the dishwasher used just 2.36 gallons of water, with less efficient models using 3.4 gallons. As time goes on, dishwashers are becoming more and more efficient too!

And that’s not even taking into account dishwasher power consumption versus how much energy it takes to heat the water for you to wash your dishes by hand. Or, the time it takes to lock and load the dishwasher versus washing and drying by hand.

Whatever way you cut it, there’s no denying that using a dishwasher is more economical in terms of water, energy, and time consumption. If you were Team Hand-Wash, we’re sorry, but this time Team Dishwasher takes the gold.

Experts predict that by 2030, fresh water demand will be 40% more than supply. So using less water will not only help you save time and money, but it will contribute towards reducing water scarcity. We recommend reading this comprehensive guide by Comparethemarket for more information and tips on reducing water consumption at home.

Thinking about purchasing a dishwasher? Appliance City dishwashers are available in a range of styles from some of your favourite brands, in colours to suit most styles and budgets. Shop online for the best deals or contact us for expert advice on 0115 965 1937.