Fact: A dishwasher typically uses the equivalent of 700-850 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, or nearly as much energy as a clothes dryer or freezer. About 80% of this energy is used, not to run the machine, but to heat the water for washing the dishes. You can:

  • Use 50% less electricity when running your dishwasher.

  • Cut your water consumption in half on every load.

Best Features: The most water-efficient dishwashers currently on the market use about 5 gallons of hot water per load, or less than half as much as the least efficient ones. When buying a dishwasher...

  • Compare annual operation costs shown on the Energy Guide label.

  • Choose a model with several different wash cycle selections.

  • Look for an option for heat-drying and air-drying.

  • Opt for a feature that senses how dirty the dishes are and runs appropriate cleaning cycles.

  • Get a multiple-level wash system.

  • Select a dishwasher with a thermostat and heating capability.

Save Money: Buying the correct size appliance for your needs is critical to saving money, energy, and water. In dishwashers, there are compact and standard-capacity units. Compact models use less energy and water per load, so you may actually consume more energy operating them more frequently. The Energy Guide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water based on the yearly cost of gas and electric water heating. When it is time to buy a new unit, look for the ENERGY STAR® label.

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