How much does it cost to run a dishwasher?

If you’re one of the 12 million people in the UK who have a dishwasher at home, you’re probably wondering how to keep away from the sink and slash those energy bills. We look at how much it costs to run a dishwasher and how you can cut down your expenses. 

Understanding how much energy you’re using every day for different electrical appliances in your home can help you decide how to reduce your energy costs and live more sustainably. 

Especially when it comes to the dishwasher, one of the more energy-hungry appliances in your kitchen.

How much does it cost to run it in pounds and pence? What can you avoid using to save that extra quid?

We find out.

How much does it cost to run a dishwasher?

Under the current energy price cap, which runs until 30 September, the average price per kWh of electricity is 30p.

This means an average dishwasher using about 2kWh per wash would cost you around 60p for each cycle. As a result, four uses in a week will add £2.40 to your electricity bill, or £125 over the course of a year. 

But of course, the cost will vary depending on the brand of dishwasher you own and how energy efficient it is. The better the efficiency, the less it’ll cost.

Is it cheaper to wash by hand or in the dishwasher?

It is hard to decide whether it is more cost-effective to do the dishes manually or use the dishwasher. The outcome relies on factors such as your dishwasher model and your hand-washing method.

However, research by Which? Demonstrated that washing dishes manually consumes ten times more water than using a dishwasher. Keep in mind that this can still vary based on your dishwasher’s specific model.

What type of dishwashers are cheaper to run?

Your dishwasher’s energy efficiency rating determines its operating cost. Ratings range from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), replacing the old A+++ to D to make it easier to understand.  

The labels also provide information on the ‘eco’ setting, including energy, water use and noise, and are listed for every 100 cycles. You can find out more on the energy label website.

How to save costs when using a dishwasher

Run on a full load. A spokesperson from Energy Saving Trust said: “Only run your dishwasher when it is full to reduce the amount of water you use.” 

Track usage. Keep track of how often you use the dishwasher in a week. Cutting back just one cycle per week can save you over £30 annually with a 2kWh dishwasher.

Off-peak hours. If you have an Economy 7 plan, run your dishwasher during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper. Consider setting it before bedtime. 

Eco setting. Use the eco setting whenever possible. It can save up to 20% on energy costs by using less power to heat water, according to Uswitch.

Energy efficiency rating. An energy-efficient dishwasher does what it says on the tin – uses energy more efficiently and saves you money.

Keep it clean. Wash your dishwasher periodically to prevent dirt and limescale buildup.

Avoid pre-rinsing dishes. You could save up to £40 a year if you avoid pre-rinsing dishes under a running hot water tap, according to Utilita Energy. Simply scrap leftovers into the bin instead. 

Check settings. Familiarise yourself with your dishwasher’s settings. Some models like Hotpoint have features that reduce energy consumption, such as automatically opening the door to dry dishes. Hotpoint told our sister brand Ideal Home that this feature can reduce energy consumption by up to 22%. 

Methodical loading. Load your dishwasher correctly to ensure proper cleaning. Cram in too much and you’ll probably find yourself running it again and using more water. This Whirlpool guide explains that you should avoid overloading and place items like glasses, mugs and bowls upside down.

By following these tips, you can save both energy and money while using your dishwasher efficiently.