5 Most Energy Efficient Dishwashers 2023 [How Much Does a Dishwasher Cost to Run?]

Is running an energy efficient dishwasher worth it in 2023?

With electricity and utility bills on the rise, being more energy-savvy around the home is increasingly important.

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself recently.

According to a 2018 survey, 49% of the UK population use a dishwasher as their main way to clean our dishes. This is up from 18% in 1994.

I must admit, I’m still not fully converted to using a dishwasher, but do use it now and again.

This blog will take a look at how much it costs to run a dishwasher, as well as detailing the top 5 energy efficient dishwashers. Hopefully this will be useful if you’re in the market for a new dishwasher! 

Read right until the end for some great tips and tricks to make using your dishwasher more eco friendly and cost-efficient!

How much energy do dishwashers use per cycle? 

eco dishwasher stacking

As I’m sure you know, dishwashers run off electricity. Understanding the energy consumption and efficient of this appliance is key in helping you calculate potential bill savings.

The first thing to note is that dishwashers are generally more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand.

However, there’s still an energy cost to using the dishwasher. For all electrical appliances, energy is measured in kWh, or kilowatt hours.

The average dishwasher consumes between 1.2kWh and 1.5kWh per load.

To put this into context, an energy efficient electric fan oven will use around 0.9kWh and an energy efficient fridge freezer considerably less at around 0.1-0.2kWh, which is also in line with the latest Ultra HD energy efficient TVs.

A heavy hitter in terms of energy is the tumble dryer which can use up to 5kWh.

To find out exactly what the energy consumption is, check the back of each and every appliance for the exact kWh and the energy-rating label.

Those with the best and most efficient dishwashers will have an energy rating of A or B, and have a lower kWh number. 

In short, the lower the number, the more efficient!

New dishwasher energy rating label
New dishwasher energy rating label (source)

Did you know – Energy rating labels have changed

The energy-rating labels on all domestic appliances have changed!

Before 1 March 2021Now
A+++ to D ratingsA to G ratings

Before most appliances on the market were being rated as A+ to A+++.

This was misleading though.

Now, it’s much harder to be rated as A energy efficient.

Make sure to take another look at your new machines to compare the energy ratings properly.

The cost of running a dishwasher

dishwasher tablet

There are a lot of associated costs of running a dishwasher.

Here are some of the main costs involved:

  1. Initial cost of the dishwasher
  2. Cost of the electricity
  3. Cost of the water use
  4. Cost of the dishwasher tablets
  5. Costs of dishwasher cleaners 

New dishwashers cost between £200 to £1,600.

This is a hefty initial cost, and is usually a concern for buyers. However, with the potential energy-saving and water-saving capabilities of a modern dishwasher, this can get counteracted over the long term and make the initial high outlay worth it.

The electricity cost is also a concern, what with the rising cost of utilities.

Let’s calculate the average cost based on the current average electricity rate of 34p for the price cap period (October-December 2022) and the average dishwasher energy use being between 1.2kWh to 1.5kWh.

This means each load will cost you around 50p.

This rounds up to £3.50 a week if the dishwasher is used once a day. Multiply this up further, and it works out as £14 a month and £168 per year.

Energy efficiency dishwasher running costs

However, if you use an energy efficient dishwasher these costs can drop dramatically. An eco dishwasher can have a energy usage of just 0.54kWh, which would half the costs above and more.

With an energy efficient dishwasher, you would be paying around 18p per cycle.

So, looks like running a cost-efficient dishwasher is all part of running a wider eco friendly kitchen.

Water use per dishwasher cycle

Each dishwasher also uses different amounts of water, and this can vary greatly.

For example, the Miele G7422SC uses just 6 litres of water per cycle, whereas the Candy CDI1LS38S uses 11 litres of water per cycle. This is almost double!

The current cost of water is approximately 0.3p per litre. This means the Miele dishwasher uses 1.8p of water per load, whereas the Candy uses 3.3p worth.

Other costs, including dishwasher tablets and cleaners can vary greatly depending on the brand. For example, some supermarket own brand tablets balances out at around 8p per load, whereas more expensive brands can be knocking on 30p per load.

It’s well worth shopping around for cheaper, but also more eco-friendly dishwasher tablet alternatives.

The take home message here is to really well research the individual dishwasher models for the exact use of energy and exact water use!

eco mate dishwasher rinse aid
Eco plant based dishwasher rinse aid

Is this better than hand washing dishes?

When we compare the water and energy consumption for both the dishwasher and washing by hand, a modern dishwasher will have less of a carbon footprint.

This surprised me. As someone who tends to wash dishes by hand, I’m likely now to change my habits to a more eco friendly one.

The main reason for this is that it takes less time for the water to heat up in the dishwasher rather than running a tap.

You’re also likely to use less water with a dishwasher. This would be true if, for example, you run the dishwasher once per day as opposed to hand washing multiple sink fulls of washing over the course of a day (which is what I used to do).

It’s likely that you’ll still hand wash dishes from time to time too. With this in mind, why not make this more environmentally friendly with an eco friendly washing up liquid and eco sponge type.

ecozone washing up liquid

5 Best Energy Efficient Dishwashers UK

There are so many options out there now for new dishwashers. On the downside, this sometimes makes the choice feel overwhelming.

We’ve done our best to narrow down your search to the top 5 energy efficient dishwasher models.

1. Miele G7422SC

  • Energy Rating: A
  • Electricity cost per cycle: 18p
  • Water use per cycle: 6 litres
  • Up front cost: £1,669
  • Top Features:
    • 2 year guarantee
    • Wifi Enabled
    • AutoDos detergent system
    • Drying system

2. Bosch Serie 6 SMS6TCi00E

  • Energy Rating: A
  • Electricity cost per cycle: 18p
  • Water use per cycle: 9.5 litres
  • Up front cost: £980
  • Top Features:
    • 2 year guarantee
    • EcoSilence
    • Dish dirtiness sensor

3. Miele G7410SC

  • Energy Rating: A
  • Electricity cost per cycle: 18p
  • Water use per cycle: 8.4 litres
  • Up front cost: £1,429
  • Top Features:
    • 2 year guarantee
    • AutoDos detergent system

4. Bosch Serie 8 SMS8YCI03E

  • Energy Rating: B
  • Electricity cost per cycle: 22p
  • Water use per cycle: 9.5 litres
  • Up front cost: £980
  • Top Features:
    • 2 year guarantee
    • Eco Wash
    • Auto door open

5. Miele G7460 SCVi

  • Energy Rating: A
  • Electricity cost per cycle: 18p
  • Water use per cycle: 8.4 litres
  • Up front cost: £1,800
  • Top Features:
    • 2 year guarantee
    • Home app allows remote control

Tips for a more energy efficient dishwasher use

There are some pitfalls that you should avoid when using a dishwasher to make each load as energy efficient as possible.

1. Don’t pre-rinse the dishes

Many of us do this to avoid stains etc being left on the dishes.

In actual fact, the dishwasher cleaning detergent needs food debris in order to work properly!

A lack of food to clean could lead to crockery damage as well as cloudiness and dullness.

So, yes scrape the food off the plate (and into your food waste bin) but don’t pre-rinse the plates.

2. Avoid running a half-loaded dishwasher

Not having a full cycle means using the same energy and same water for less dishes, therefore costing more in our pockets, and for the planet in the long run.

Contrary to this, don’t overfill the dishwasher either.

A top tip is to make sure the dishes are organised correctly. This means everything will be cleaned first time.

For example, more dainty and fragile items should go on the top basket, whereas larger and more bulkier items such as plates and pans should be placed on the bottom rack. All plates should be faced towards the centre of the dishwasher.

3. Use the eco-cycle

The eco dishwasher cycle limit the amount of water, and the amount of heat used, and usually go on for longer at a less intense setting.

I thought this was using more energy as mine could last for hours, but the opposite is true.

Using a more intense and hotter setting will hike the price per use up significantly.

4. Avoid using an old or less energy efficient dishwasher

These can cause a spikes in energy use and cost as they are simply not as energy efficient.

These are all important factors to weigh up when deciding to use, or not to use, a dishwasher.

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Ben & Murphy Peaks Mam Tor

I’m the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about living a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life. Away from the laptop, I love spending time in nature and with my young family (plus Murphy the dog!). I write and send out the Eco Life Newsletter.