Reduce dishwasher costs at home

Last updated: 6 September 2022

Around 50% of households in Victoria own a dishwasher, and most are used between 4 and 7 times a week. Because dishwashers can last for over 10 years, it's important to buy the most energy efficient and cost effective model to suit your household's needs.

Choose an efficient dishwasher

Energy rating label

Compare star ratings

Energy rating

The energy rating label helps you compare the energy efficiency and running costs of different dishwashers. Dishwashers are rated for both energy and water efficiency, and this information is represented on separate labels.

Red band

The energy rating is shown in the red band at the top of the label and can range from 1 to 6 stars. Every extra star could save you 30% on running costs. The more stars, the more energy efficient your dishwasher will be, and the lower the running costs.

Energy consumption

Compare the star ratings at the top of the energy rating label, then use the numbers in the energy boxes in the middle of labels to find the annual energy use of the dishwasher. When buying a new dishwasher, use the Energy Rating Calculator to help you choose a machine with as high a star rating as possible.

Minimum stars

To improve your household's energy efficiency, buy a dishwasher with at least a 3.5 star energy rating and 3.5 star water rating.

Water rating label

Compare water efficiency

The water efficiency rating label shows the efficiency rating in the blue band at the top of the label and can be from 1 to 6 stars. The more stars, the more water efficient the dishwasher, the less water it will use, and the less water you will pay for. The water consumption box in the middle of the label tells you how many litres of water the dishwasher consumes each time you use it.

Choose your dishwasher wisely

  • Choose the right size: If you find it difficult to fill your dishwasher before starting a cycle it is probably too big for your needs. Consider a smaller model.
  • Look for half-wash and economy (eco) options: These functions are especially important if you are a small household, as running a dishwasher when only partly full wastes energy.
  • Look for both hot and cold water connections: Machines with both connections will import hot water from your water heater rather than heating it in the dishwasher. This is more cost effective if you have a gas, off-peak electric or solar water heater.
  • Look for a delay start function: This way you can take advantage of cheaper electricity if you are on a time-of-use tariff.
  • Look for a filter that is easy to remove and clean: Dishwashers need to be cleaned to ensure that they are cleaning efficiently.
  • Look for brands that are designed for recycling: Recycling whitegoods will reduce landfill, conserve resources and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases created in the production of new materials.

Running costs for dishwashers

If used efficiently dishwashers can use less water than washing by hand. The table below gives the annual cost of electricity for a dishwasher with a cold-water only connection.

Dishwasher load capacity Loads washed per week Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual emissions (kg/year)
7 place settings 2 2 stars $22 83
3.5 stars $13 50
4 2 $43 160
3.5 stars $26 94
7 2 $75 277
3.5 stars $44 163
10 place settings 2 2 stars $32 117
3.5 stars $19 70
4 2 stars $62 228
3.5 stars $36 135
7 2 stars $107 396
3.5 stars $63 232
12 place settings 2 2 stars $38 139
3.5 stars $22 83
4 2 stars $74 274
3.5 stars $44 162
7 2 stars $129 476
3.5 stars $75 278
14 place settings 2 2 stars $44 162
3.5 stars $19 68
4 2 stars $86 319
3.5 stars $36 132
7 2 stars $150 555
3.5 stars $62 228

Use your dishwasher efficiently

Regardless of the type of dishwasher you own, you can reduce your energy bills by running it efficiently.

  • Only wash full loads: Why use the same amount of water and energy for a full load to wash a smaller load?
  • Keep the filters clean: Clean filters will ensure that your dishwasher is cleaning efficiently.
  • Select the eco option and half-load option: Dishwasher economy (eco) options save energy by heating the water slowly over a longer cycle. Half load options reduce energy and water consumption.
  • Use the delay start option: If you have a time-of-use electricity tariff the delay start option will allow you to run the dishwasher during off-peak periods, which are usually overnight.

Dispose of your whitegoods responsibly

Ensure that when you buy a new product to replace an old one, you take the necessary steps to dispose of your old product responsibly. Recycling whitegoods will reduce landfill, conserve resources and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases created in the production of new materials. Contact your council about recycling whitegoods.