How much does it cost to run a dishwasher?

We look into how much it costs to run a dishwasher and what you can do to reduce your energy bill.

Unloading a dishwasher
(Image credit: © Alamy)

While washing up may not be your favourite activity, sticking the load into a dishwasher can be costly. But, with all of us looking to reduce our energy usage to save on energy bills, you may have questioned just how much it costs to run a power-hungry dishwasher.

Currently the energy price guarantee means the average typical household pays £2,500 for their energy however this will be going up in April 2023 to £3,000 – your actual bill depends on how much energy you use as the cap applies to the unit price and not your total bill.

Knowing exactly how much it costs to run your appliances down to the penny could help you minimise your bill and mitigate the price increase.

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How much does it cost to run a dishwasher?

The current average price per kWh for electricity is 34p. This means a 2kWh dishwasher will cost around 68p per cycle, and four uses per week will add to £2.72 your bill. That’s a cost of £10.88 per four weeks, and £141.44 a year.

However individual costs will vary based on the brand and energy efficiency of your dishwasher.

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

This again depends on your dishwasher and how you wash up by hand. According to Which?, washing dishes by hand uses ten times more water than a dishwasher.

What is the cheapest dishwasher to run?

When shopping for a dishwasher, look at the energy efficiency ratings. Appliance manufacturer energy efficiency ratings run from A to G, with A being the most efficient. Previously the labels ran from A+++ to D.

The A to G labels on a dishwasher give additional information for their eco settings, listed for every 100 cycles. The label also lists energy consumption, water consumption, and noise emissions.

However, more energy-efficient dishwashers can be more expensive. This fully integrated one from Siemens costs £1,049 whereas this E rated one from Beko costs £289.

How you can save costs while using a dishwasher

Here are some tips to reduce costs while using your dishwasher:

  • Only run it on a full load as this will reduce the amount of water you use.
  • Keep track of how many times you use it in a week – reducing use by one run a week could save you £17, according to the Energy Savings Trust.
  • If you have an Economy 7 meter you get a cheaper rate at night. Turn it on during this time window to save on your bill.
  • According to Uswitch, using your dishwasher on the eco setting could save up to 20% energy as it uses less power to heat the water.
  • Make sure your dishwasher is clean. The more buildup of dirt or limescale, the harder it has to work to clean your dishes.
  • Stop pre-rinsing dishes. This uses more water, and more energy. Simply scrape leftovers into the bin.
  • Load your dishwasher correctly to make sure the dishes are washed properly and to save yourself having to wash them again. You can look at this guide by Whirlpool on how to properly load your dishwasher for some tips.
  • Finally, look into your dishwasher’s settings. Making full use of these could help you lower the amount of energy it’s using. Some Hotpoint dishwashers have a feature which opens the dishwasher door once it’s done to dry the dishes. According to Hotpoint this can reduce energy consumption by up to 22%.
Nicole García Mérida

Nic studied for a BA in journalism at Cardiff University, and has an MA in magazine journalism from City University. She joined MoneyWeek in 2019.