How Much Electricity Does A Dishwasher Use?

by | Last updated Oct 22, 2023

In an era where energy usage of household appliances has profound implications for our finances and the environment, being aware of how much power our devices consume is critical. One of these indispensable appliances is the dishwasher, a modern convenience significantly influencing our household’s total energy use. Hence, how much electricity does a dishwasher use? and what can we do to lessen its impact? Let’s explore this subject in greater detail.

Dishwashers Energy Consumption and Impact on Electricity Bills.

The energy utilization of dishwashers is influenced by the appliance’s wattage and several other determinants, which will be elaborated upon subsequently in the discussion. For a general reference, here are the estimated electricity consumptions and their implications on monthly and annual electricity bills for various dishwasher types.

Standard Built-In or Portable Dishwashers (24-inch size)

Energy Consumption Per Cycle: Each time you run a standard built-in or portable dishwasher, it consumes between 1.2 to 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity.

Monthly Impact: If you use this dishwasher daily for a month (30 days), your energy consumption will range between 36 to 45 kWh. This translates to 36 to 45 units on your electricity bill.

Yearly Impact: With daily use over a year (365 days), the energy consumption accumulates to 438 to 548 kWh. This means annually, this dishwasher adds 438 to 548 units to your electricity bill.

Compact Built-In or Portable Dishwashers (18-inch size)

Energy Consumption Per Cycle: For each cycle, a compact built-in or portable dishwasher consumes between 0.8 to 1.2 kWh of electricity.

Monthly Impact: Using it daily for a month results in an energy consumption of 24 to 36 kWh. This will reflect as 24 to 36 units on your monthly electricity bill.

Yearly Impact: On a yearly scale with daily usage, this type of dishwasher would consume between 292 to 438 kWh of energy. Hence, annually, you’d see an addition of 292 to 438 units in your electricity bill.

Standard Countertop Dishwasher

Energy Consumption Per Cycle: A typical cycle of a common countertop dishwasher consumes electricity ranging from 0.7 to 0.9 kWh.

Monthly Impact: When used daily over a month, it consumes 21 to 27 kWh of electricity. This equals 21 to 27 units on your monthly bill.

Yearly Impact: If used daily throughout the year, the consumption will range between 256 to 328 kWh. Annually, this results in an addition of 256 to 328 units on your electricity bill.

Standard Built-In or Portable Dishwashers (24 inch)1.2 to 1.5 kWh Per Cycle = 36 to 45 kWh / month = 36 to 45 Units per month in Electricity Bill (1 time daily use for 30 days)
Compact Built-In or Portable Dishwashers (18 inch)0.8 to 1.2 kWh Per Cycle = 24 to 36 kWh / month = 24 to 36 Units per month in Electricity Bill (1 time daily use for 30 days)
Common Countertop Dishwasher0.7 to 0.9 kWh Per Cycle = 21 to 27 kWh / month = 21 to 27 Units per month in Electricity Bill (1 time daily use for 30 days)

Impact of Daily Dishwasher Use on Efficiency & Lifespan

The number of times you should run your dishwasher hinges on household size and cooking habits. However, when contemplating the energy efficiency aspect, it’s essential to remember that dishwashers consume nearly the same amount of energy irrespective of how full they are. So, if you’re all about maximizing energy efficiency, in that case, it’s prudent to run the dishwasher when it’s fully loaded, thereby getting the most out of each cycle.

Does regular use of a dishwasher wear it down? On the contrary, frequent use of your dishwasher can benefit its maintenance. Everyday use can deter the accumulation of food particles and prevent mold growth within the appliance. This consistent operation keeps the machine clean and in good working condition, extending its lifespan in the long run.

Moreover, running your dishwasher regularly is okay if you consistently produce many dishes. Suppose your household tends to generate a lot of dirty dishes daily. In that case, daily dishwasher use might make more sense than attempting to hand wash. Additionally, using the dishwasher daily may be more efficient if you consistently fill up the dishwasher with a full load, as mentioned earlier.

However, using a dishwasher daily might be optional for smaller households or those who don’t cook frequently. In such scenarios, running the dishwasher every other day or a few times a week when it’s full may be the most energy-efficient approach.

Ultimately, the key takeaway is to align the frequency of dishwasher use with your specific needs while ensuring you maximize each cycle’s load. This approach not only conserves energy but also contributes to the longevity of your appliance, making it a win-win situation for both the environment and your pocket.

The Efficiency Evolutio

In the early 1990s, the Energy Star program started rating dishwashers, leading to significant water and energy efficiency improvements over the decades.

Off-Peak Dishwasher Usage: A Cost-Effective Strategy?

A man demonstrating to calculate the electricity bill, promoting a clear understanding of energy costs.

Regarding financial savings, scheduling your dishwasher cycles during off-peak hours can be beneficial, assuming your energy provider offers time-of-use pricing. Energy companies often charge less during these off-peak periods, frequently in the late evening or early morning hours when overall energy demand is lower. Utilizing this strategy to operate your dishwasher can lead to noticeable reductions in your energy expenditures. That said, verifying these time-of-use periods with your specific energy provider is crucial, as such policies may not apply everywhere, or the designated off-peak hours may vary.

Reduced Strain on Electrical Grid

Running your dishwasher during off-peak hours helps to balance the electrical grid, contributing to overall energy efficiency.

Should you wash dishes before the dishwasher?

Pre-rinsing dishes is a habit for many, but it’s typically unnecessary and can save significant amounts of water. Most modern dishwashers come equipped with advanced technology designed to handle food residue. Instead of washing dishes before loading them, scrape off large food particles and let your dishwasher take the rest. This practice can conserve water and reduce your time at the sink.

Does running a dishwasher save water?

Yes, running a dishwasher typically uses less water compared to hand washing. An Energy Star-rated dishwasher uses around 3 gallons per load, while hand washing can consume up to 27 gallons. Using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand can drastically reduce your household’s water usage, contributing to conservation efforts.

How Often to Run Your Dishwasher for Maximum Energy Efficiency

Running your dishwasher should be largely determined by a combination of factors such as the number of people in your household, the frequency of your meals at home, and your dishware usage patterns. Energy efficiency, however, should always be at the forefront of these considerations. To fully leverage your dishwasher’s designed energy efficiency, aim to operate it only when it’s fully loaded. Consistently running your dishwasher with just a handful of items can lead to higher energy consumption over time, impacting your utility bills and the environment.

On a related note, certain advanced dishwashers have a half-load function designed for smaller dish loads. This could be useful if your dishwasher has this feature and you often need to wash just a few dishes. But remember, a full load is still the most energy-efficient way to operate your dishwasher.

Hand-Washing vs. Dishwasher: The Energy Efficiency Debate

A woman diligently washing dishes under a flowing kitchen tap. The other woman is using Dishwasher.

Many homeowners need help determining whether to wash their dishes by hand or use a dishwasher. What’s the more energy-efficient option? Well, the answer may surprise many. When compared, dishwashers, especially those with the Energy Star certification, are consistently more energy- and water-efficient.

Energy Star-certified dishwashers are designed to consume as little as 3 gallons of water per cycle, making them champions of water conservation. When we contrast this to hand-washing dishes, the difference is astounding. Hand-washing dishes can consume up to 27 gallons of water! This doesn’t even factor in the energy consumed in heating the water used in washing dishes by hand.

Let’s examine the energy usage of dishwashers more closely. We can see that an Energy Star-rated dishwasher consumes an average of less than 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per cycle. The energy usage spikes when we compare this to the energy required to heat water for hand-washing dishes. The energy consumed in heating water significantly adds to your utility bill, thus tilting the scales in favor of dishwashers.

Apart from the actual energy and water usage, there’s also a conversation about the time and effort spent on hand-washing dishes versus loading a dishwasher. The modern-day dishwasher saves you precious time, allowing you to focus on other essential household tasks.

Given these considerations, it’s clear that using a dishwasher, especially an energy-efficient model, is an environmentally conscious and economical choice. Not only does it save water and energy, but it also affords you more time to enjoy with your family or invest in other household chores. This adds a new dimension to the concept of efficiency, expanding it beyond the boundaries of just energy and water consumption.

Cleaning Evolution Throwback

Early 20th-century homemakers had to combat mold using only essential soap and water. Today, we’ve got advanced detergents and fungicides. How lucky are we?

Efficient Dishwashing: Energy and Cost Savings

A fully loaded dishwasher image with energy efficient sign on it.

To minimize your dishwasher’s energy consumption and save on your utility bills, consider the following:

Run Full Loads

Your dishwasher uses roughly the same amount of energy, whether half-full or completely loaded. This means that running your dishwasher when it’s complete is a more energy-efficient approach. It’s recommended to wait until you have a full load before starting your dishwasher.

Leverage Energy-Saving Cycles

Modern dishwashers have eco-friendly or energy-saving cycles. These cycles are designed to use less water and energy than regular ones. Use these energy-saving cycles to enhance your dishwasher’s efficiency whenever possible.

Opt for Air-Drying

Once the washing cycle is complete, consider air-drying your dishes rather than using the heat-dry function that consumes extra energy. You can do this simply by opening the dishwasher door and allowing the dishes to air-dry.

Eco Benefits of Energy Star Dishwashers

If you’re conscious of your energy use’s environmental impact, upgrading to an Energy Star-rated model can make a significant difference. These dishwashers are designed to be more energy-efficient and use less water than standard models. Plus, avoiding running your dishwasher during the warmest part of the day in the summer can help keep your house cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning.

Tips for Choosing an Energy-Efficient Dishwasher

In today’s energy-conscious world, finding ways to reduce our energy consumption is a high priority, and one significant way to do that is through our choice of home appliances. A dishwasher, an essential kitchen appliance, can be an important energy consumer. However, with some knowledge and understanding, you can choose an efficient, powerful model contributing to your green lifestyle.

Choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher isn’t just about environmental stewardship; it’s also a smart way to save on energy bills. Given the wide variety of models available in the market, finding the perfect dishwasher that combines performance, efficiency, and sustainability can be challenging. We aim to clarify the process and offer practical guidance to ensure you make a well-informed decision when choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher for your home.

Energy Star Certification

Look for Energy Star-certified dishwashers. These models are designed to be more energy-efficient and use less water than standard models.

Size Matters

Choose a dishwasher that fits your needs. A compact dishwasher might be better if you’re in a small household, as it uses less energy and water.

Wash Cycle Options

Opt for dishwashers with various wash cycle options, including energy-saving or eco-modes that use less water and electricity.

Soil Sensors

Dishwashers with soil sensors can detect the dishes’ dirt and adjust the wash cycle accordingly, saving energy.

Energy Efficiency Rating

Check the energy guide label for the dishwasher’s annual energy use and estimated operating cost. This will give you an idea of how energy-efficient the model is.

Delay Start Feature

This feature allows you to run the dishwasher at off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower, saving energy costs.

Air Dry Feature

Dishwashers with an air dry feature can reduce energy use by skipping the heating element during drying.

How Eco Mode In Dishwashers Saves Energy

Someone selecting the eco mode on the dishwasher for energy-efficient operation.

Energy-efficient home appliances have become increasingly popular in our current environmental awareness and sustainability age. Like many other modern appliances, dishwashers often come equipped with various energy-saving features, including Eco Mode. But what exactly is Eco Mode, and how does it save energy when using a dishwasher? Let’s delve into the specifics.

Understanding Eco Mode

Eco Mode is a special setting on many modern dishwashers designed to reduce the appliance’s overall energy and water consumption. When selected, Eco Mode adjusts various factors in the dishwasher’s operation to achieve these savings without significantly affecting its cleaning performance.

Energy Saving Mechanisms in Eco Mode

Here are some of the ways that Eco Mode in dishwashers contributes to energy savings:

  1. Lower Water Temperature

One of the primary ways Eco Mode saves energy is by washing dishes at a lower temperature than standard modes. Heating water for a dishwasher cycle consumes a significant amount of energy, and by reducing the temperature, Eco Mode effectively cuts down this energy consumption.

  1. Efficient Wash Cycle

Eco Mode typically operates with a longer wash cycle than the standard mode. While this might sound counterintuitive regarding energy saving, it’s more efficient. The longer cycle at a lower temperature ensures dishes are thoroughly cleaned, using less energy.

  1. Smart Water Use

Eco Mode is designed to use water more efficiently, indirectly saving energy. By using less water per cycle, the dishwasher requires less energy to heat the water and run the wash cycle.

  1. Advanced Sensor Technology

Some modern dishwashers with Eco Mode have advanced sensors that can detect the soil level on dishes. Based on this assessment, the dishwasher adjusts the water temperature and cycle length, ensuring no more energy is used to clean the dishes.

The Impact on Your Utility Bills

Running your dishwasher on Eco Mode can lead to noticeable savings on your utility bills over time. While the cost reduction per cycle may not be massive, the cumulative savings over months and years can be substantial.

Eco Mode’s Environmental Impact

In addition to reducing your utility bills, using Eco Mode contributes to environmental sustainability. Lowering your dishwasher’s energy consumption reduces your household’s carbon footprint, an essential step toward combating climate change.

The Final Word on How Much Electricity Does a Dishwasher Use

Running a dishwasher might seem like a big energy hog, but it’s not! It uses less water and energy than washing dishes by hand. The cost to run it depends on a few things, like your dishwasher’s energy rating, how full it is, and if you’re using energy-saving modes like Eco Mode. But on average, it won’t add much to your electricity bill. And if you want to save even more, try running it during off-peak hours.

In addition, who wouldn’t love more free time and less dishwashing? So, if you’ve been thinking about it, it might be the perfect time to get a dishwasher. You’ll save time, energy, and even water. That sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it? Go on, give it a try!

At WashDryDazzle, we’re dedicated to providing essential insights that make your daily chores effortless. Dive deeper into our comprehensive Dishwasher Education hub to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much energy does a dishwasher typically use?

Each time you run a standard built-in or portable dishwasher (about 24 inches), it consumes between 1.2 to 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. For each cycle, a compact built-in or portable dishwasher (about 18 inches) consumes between 0.8 to 1.2 kWh of electricity, and a typical cycle of a common countertop dishwasher consumes electricity ranging from 0.7 to 0.9 kWh.

What is the kWh usage of a dishwasher?

Every cycle of a standard built-in or portable dishwasher (approximately 24 inches) uses about 1.2 to 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. In contrast, a compact built-in or portable dishwasher (roughly 18 inches) utilizes between 0.8 to 1.2 kWh per cycle. Meanwhile, a common countertop dishwasher’s cycle expends electricity in the range of 0.7 to 0.9 kWh.

How much does running a dishwasher per load cost?

The cost can depend on your local electricity rates and the dishwasher’s energy consumption. If a dishwasher uses 1.5 kWh per cycle, and the average cost of electricity is 13 cents per kWh, each cycle would cost around 20 cents.

What is a dishwasher’s power rating?

The power rating of a dishwasher, typically provided in watts (W), is the maximum power the appliance can draw. Most dishwashers have power ratings between 1200 and 2400 watts.

How does the energy usage of a dishwasher compare to other home appliances?

On average, dishwashers consume less energy than home appliances such as refrigerators, electric ovens, or clothes dryers. However, energy usage depends on the appliance’s efficiency, usage frequency, and operating settings.

How much can I save on my electric bill using an energy-efficient dishwasher?

Depending on your usage patterns and local electricity rates, an energy-efficient dishwasher can save around $15-$20 per year compared to standard models.

What is the annual electricity cost for dishwasher running?

Assuming the dishwasher uses 1.5 kWh per cycle, runs four times per week, and the cost of electricity is 13 cents per kWh, the annual electricity cost would be $38.40.

Is there a dishwasher electricity usage calculator?

Several online tools allow you to calculate a dishwasher’s electricity usage. These calculators typically require you to input the dishwasher’s power rating, duration of use, and local electricity rate. One such tool is the ‘Energy Use Calculator’ available at

Does a dishwasher affect the electricity bill?

Yes, running a dishwasher does contribute to your electricity bill. The extent to which it affects your bill depends on several factors, including the model and efficiency of the dishwasher, the frequency of its use, the chosen settings, and local electricity rates. Newer, more energy-efficient models, particularly those with an Energy Star rating, tend to consume less electricity per cycle than older models. Using efficient settings like ‘Eco Mode’ or running the dishwasher during off-peak hours (if your utility company offers time-of-use rates) can help reduce the cost. However, even with these considerations, it’s important to remember that any appliance that uses electricity will invariably contribute to the overall electricity bill.

Should I always use eco mode on my dishwasher?

Eco Mode is generally beneficial as it saves energy and water. However, a different mode may be more effective for heavily soiled dishes or when quick washing is needed. Always check your dishwasher’s manual for specific guidance.



Home Appliances Expert

A. Ditta, a highly regarded authority in home appliances, contributes his expertise to With 15 years of global experience, Ditta's writings stand out for their quality, accuracy, and user-centric approach. Recognized as a reliable source for washing and drying products, his in-depth knowledge and commitment to providing clear, accurate advice make him a trusted guide for readers worldwide. Ditta’s work is a testimony to his profound expertise in the industry.