Is an energy-efficient dishwasher worth the money?

Are you in the market for a new dishwasher? If so, you’ve probably considered an energy-efficient one.

Costing an average of $550, according to, newer dishwashers generally use 5.8 gallons of water per cycle instead of 10 gallons per cycle like some older models, even if you have a working older dishwasher there could be savings you’re missing out on.

RELATED: 5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run

Before investing in a new dishwasher, you may want to compare energy savings of different models by reviewing their yellow and black EnergyGuide labels provided by the federal government.

Here are some of reasons why an energy-efficient dishwasher might be a good idea:

Advanced technology

Dishwasher technology has improved dramatically over the last decade, according to ENERGY STAR, a federal program that certifies consumer products that meet certain energy efficiency standards.

ENERGY STAR-certified dishwashers use advanced technology to get dishes clean while using less water and energy.

  • Soil sensors test the degree of dirt on dishes throughout the wash and adjust the cycle to achieve optimum cleaning with minimal water and energy use.
  • Improved water filtration removes food soils from the wash water, allowing efficient use of detergent and water throughout the cycle. The final clean-water rinse helps clean dishes more thoroughly.
  • More efficient jets use less energy to spray detergent and water over the dishes when cleaning.
  • Innovative dish rack designs maximize cleaning by strategically situating the dishes.


Standard-size dishwashers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are, on average, 12 percent more energy efficient and 30 percent more water efficient than standard models.

  • Trim your utility bills — If you have a dishwasher made before 1994, you're paying an extra $35 a year on your utility bills compared to owning a new ENERGY STAR-certified model. Replace one of these old dishwashers with ENERGY STAR and save enough money to pay for dishwasher detergent all year.
  • Save on water — A dishwasher built before 1994 wastes more than 10 gallons of water per cycle. A new, ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher will save, on average, 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime.

If you have to keep your older dishwasher, here are some tips on still saving energy and money.

  • Buy an electricity usage monitor for about $20 to measure the energy use of your dishwasher, according to These monitors work with any appliance that runs on 120-volt electricity.
  • A faster way to save money and help home appliances work longer is to improve your home by caulking and weatherstripping it, according to a different article on
  • If your dishwasher is still running pretty well, replace the filters instead.
  • Soak your dishes in hot water with a few drops of dish detergent for about 5-10 minutes. Then clean them with a towel, sponge or steel wool, depending on the dish, to reduce detergent residue.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Georgia Power customers to pay less towards Vogtle in 2018
Georgia Power customers to pay less towards Vogtle in 2018

Georgia Power customers will see a slight reduction in their bills starting next month following an approval by state regulators Tuesday of a revised Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery (NCCR) fee charged to customers for the construction of the new Vogtle units. The Public Service Commission (PSC) says customers will in 2018 pay approximately $365...
Delta cancels 850 flights amid Nor’easter
Delta cancels 850 flights amid Nor’easter

Delta Air Lines said Wednesday afternoon it has canceled about 850 flights due to a Nor‘easter bringing inclement weather to its hubs in New York and other airports including Boston. The storm is causing dozens of cancellations of flights between Atlanta and cities in the storm’s path. Atlanta-based Delta is waiving certain change fees...
FedEx bomb: UPS says it has security measures in place
FedEx bomb: UPS says it has security measures in place

After a package exploded at a FedEx facility in Texas early Tuesday morning, Sandy Springs-based UPS said it is “cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation.” “We have security measures in place, but we do not discuss them in order to maintain their effectiveness,” UPS said in a written statement. Authorities ...
Atlanta home prices up 9.8 percent — faster than nation’s, Re/Max says
Atlanta home prices up 9.8 percent — faster than nation’s, Re/Max says

Metro Atlanta home prices are up 9.8 percent from a year ago, while the supply of homes for sale has continued to shrink, according to a report from Re/Max. The median sales price of a home sold in the region during February was $225,000, up from a median of $204,900 during the same month of last year, according to the real estate firm. In comparison...
Delta accidentally flew a puppy to the wrong airport
Delta accidentally flew a puppy to the wrong airport
Delta Air Lines is coming under heat after accidentally flying a puppy to the wrong airport. Josh Schlaich posted about the incident on Facebook over the weekend when he was trying to figure out where the eight-week old puppy was. He was supposed to pick up the puppy at the airport in Boise, Idaho. But instead he got a message from a Delta rep at the...
More Stories