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How Much Electricity Does a Dishwasher Use?

built in dishwasher in the kitchen

A dishwasher can be extremely useful in any home, and it’s essential if you have a large family. But one of the biggest concerns for people purchasing their first dishwasher is how much electricity it will use. While the average rate in America is about 1.2 kilowatt hours (kWh), several factors can affect the final price, so keep reading as we help you determine how much power a dishwasher will use before you purchase it.

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Do Dishwashers Use a Large Amount of Electricity?

woman using dishwasher
Image Credit: More Than Production, Shutterstock

The average dishwasher uses about 1,200 watts per load, which is about the same as many coffee makers and hair dryers. However, you will likely find that your dishwasher uses more power than you calculated once you start using it. Most of the hot water that it uses to clean the dishes comes from the hot water heater, which can use just as much power as the dishwasher to complete a load of dishes. To accurately predict how much adding a dishwasher will increase your electric bill, you will need to factor in the cost of water and the energy that your water heater uses to heat it.

How Much Water Does My Dishwasher Use?

Newer dishwashers are much more environmentally friendly than older units and consume less power and water to complete a load of dishes. Modern Energy Star dishwashers often use fewer than 4 gallons of water per load, while older Energy Star dishwashers will need 4 to 6 gallons to complete the same task. If you have an old dishwasher from before 1994, you may be impressed with its longevity, but it likely uses as many as 15 gallons per load.

How Much Electricity Does My Dishwasher Use?

open dishwasher door
Image Credit: Leszek Glasner, Shutterstock

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find out how much power your dishwasher uses, as different device settings can dramatically affect power consumption. For instance, a heavy wash cycle will likely use more electricity than a light cycle. However, online research into any model that you’re interested in can give you insight into how much power it will use, so you can compare units before purchasing one.

What Can I Learn From Researching Dishwashers?

man reading electric meter
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Research is likely your best friend when determining how much power a unit will use. Many sale displays, especially online, will provide an energy guide for the unit that you are considering.

For example, the Bosch Ascenta Front Control 24-in Built-In Dishwasher comes with an energy guide that estimates that you will use 269 kWh per year. You can divide that number by 12 to get the monthly number (22.416 kWh) and then divide that number by 4 to get the weekly number (5.6 kWh). This estimate is based on four loads per week, so you can divide the weekly kWh by the number of loads to get out the kWh per load (1.4).

The Frigidaire  Front Control 24-in Built-In Dishwasher comes with an energy guide that estimates that you will use 270 kWh per year. Divide 270 by 12 to get the monthly use (22.5 kWh) and again by 4 (5.625 kWh) for the weekly use. This estimate uses the four-loads-per-week guideline, so divide the weekly kWh use by 4 to learn the per-load power consumption (1.41).

You can use the same formula with the Bevoi Front Control 24-in Built-In Dishwasher and its energy guide to determine that it will use 1.22hWh per load.

The Galanz Front Control 24-in Built-In Dishwasher has an energy guide that enables you to determine that it will use 1.41 kWh per load.

Model kWh per year kWh per load
Bosch Ascenta 269 1.4
Frigidaire 270 1.41
Bevoi 234 1.22
Galanz 270 1.41

How Much Will It Cost to Run My Dishwasher?

broken dishwasher
Image Credit: nimito, Shutterstock

Figuring out the cost of running your washing machine is not difficult once you know how many kWh it will use per load.

  • Determine how many loads you will do each week. For example, let’s assume four weekly loads.
  • Multiply the number of loads per week by four to get the number of loads per month, which is 16 in this example.
  • Multiply the number of loads per month by your per-load kWh. The Bosch uses 1.4 kWh of electricity per load, so in this example, the monthly kWh use is 22.4 kWh.
  • Finally, multiply the monthly kWh by the cost per kWh provided by the electric company, which you can find on your bill. The average cost of electricity in the United States is $0.13, so the price will be about $3.14 per month. However, remember that much of the hot water that the machine uses comes from the hot water heater, which uses energy to heat the water and can cost as much as the dishwasher.

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Summary

The average dishwasher in the United States uses about 1.2 kilowatt hours per load. Older units will likely use far more power, and some settings can also increase the amount of electricity that you use. When looking for a new dishwasher for your home, we highly recommend looking at the energy guide for each unit to help make it easier to compare units and even help you budget. However, it’s important to remember that your water heater will also work hard to provide hot water, raising your energy costs even more.


Featured Image Credit: More Than Production, Shutterstock

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