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What's the Energy Usage & Cost of Running Your Dishwasher?

Dishwashers are one of the most energy-intensive appliances in your home because they use heat, water, and electricity to run. Surprisingly, when it comes to electricity alone, they use less than you might expect. Not to mention, you likely only have to run your dishwasher a few times a week, which means if you're intentional about your usage, you can lock in some serious savings.

The first step to saving on your dishwasher costs is calculating how much energy your dishwasher uses and how much it costs to run your dishwasher. Our cost calculator below can help you estimate your costs so you can start to lock in some savings.

Dishwasher energy cost calculator

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Terminology explained

Energy language can be confusing. Below, we break down what you need to know to use our calculator.

What are watts?

Watts measures the rate at which electricity moves through an appliance. More watts mean more electricity, and larger, more expensive dishwashers typically require higher wattage.

Dishwashers typically have a wattage range of 1200-2400 watts. The average dishwasher requires around 1800 watts for one cycle. To get the most accurate wattage for your dishwasher, check the manual or the specs. You can also google your particular dishwasher model. If you don't see a wattage number, but you do see amps and volts, you can multiply those two numbers to calculate wattage. Once you have the wattage, divide by 1000 to get kilowatts.

Kilowatts = (Amps x Volts) / 1000

What is the average cost of electricity?

According to US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 13 cents/KWH. However, this number can vary depending on your electricity supplier. Today, people in some states have the power to shop for their electricity and find cheaper rates.

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What is the cost and energy consumption of different dishwashers?

Not all dishwashers are the same. An Energy Star dishwasher will likely be much more energy-efficient than an older dishwasher which likely uses more electricity and is less efficient. Here is the power consumption and the cost of running different dishwashers:

Size
Avg Watts
Cost per hour*
Cost per month*
Small1500 W19.5¢$5.85
Medium (Most Common)1800 W23.4¢$7.02
Large2400 W31.2¢$9.36
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the dishwasher runs for 1 hour per day

How to save on your dishwasher costs?

The cost of running your dishwasher will vary. Typically, one load will cost you around 0.17 cents, so running your dishwasher every day for a week will end up costing you a little over a dollar. Of course, this cost can vary. A countertop dishwasher or a smaller dishwasher will typically use less electricity than a larger one.

Although this number is pretty low, it can start to add up when you run your dishwasher multiple times a week. There are many ways to save money on these costs. Here are some of our favorites ways to cut costs.

  • 1.

    Hand-wash your utensils

    Hand-washing your dishes, while more labor-intensive, is much more cost-effective than machine washing your dishes.
  • 2.

    Only run the dishwasher when it's full

    Got a half-full dishwasher? Wait until it's completely full to maximize each of your loads! You'll be able to run it fewer times every week, which will save you money in the long run.
  • 3.

    Run the dishwasher during non-peak electricity hours

    The price of electricity varies depending on demand. The more people using electricity, the more expensive it costs. One trick to cut down on your electricity costs is to run your dishwasher when the price is low. Generally speaking, it's cheaper to run your dishwasher later at night, before you're getting ready to go to bed and most people have turned off most of their appliances.
  • 4.

    Get an Energy Star Dishwasher

    Energy Star products are certified as the most energy-efficient products on the market. If you're looking for a new, modern dishwasher, think about purchasing an energy-star-certified dishwasher instead of a standard dishwasher. These dishwashers are more efficient, and even if they're more expensive upfront, you'll likely save money in the long run.
  • 5.

    Choose Perch Energy

    At Perch, we're on a mission to make cleaner energy more accessible, more affordable, and more equitable for all. Whether you rent an apartment, own a home, or run a business, Perch offers multiple ways to save money on your electricity bills, or even help the planet, too.
    • For guaranteed savings on your annual electricity cost, join a community solar project in your area. Perch will help match you to a local solar farm—you'll support the operations of that farm so that it can generate and contribute as much clean, solar energy to the overall grid. You don't directly receive electricity from the solar power you're supporting, but thanks to government incentives, you'll get credits toward your own utility bill. Essentially, you're being rewarded with discounts on your own electricity because you're enabling solar generation and development in your state.
    • With Perch, you can take your fossil-fuel-fighting, money-saving ways even further when you also switch your home or business' electricity plan to cleaner energy. If you're on your utility's default basic service rate, it's a "mixed" energy plan (generated partly by fossil fuels, partly by renewable resources). But Perch can switch you to a low-cost cleaner energy plan—outside of what your utility is offering—that's backed 100% by clean, renewable resources like solar and wind. We'll find you a price that's lower than the market rate for similar options in your area. You don't have to do anything differently, but you'll feel great knowing that your personal electricity usage is now contributing to a healthier planet, and you've reduced your everyday carbon footprint.
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