In order to round out our energy efficient appliances series for 2012, here’s a list of the most energy efficient dishwasher models currently on the market.

Again, I’m turning to ENERGY STAR as products that have earned this label have to be 10% more energy efficient and 12% more water efficient than standard dishwasher models.

I know in our house, there is a great deal of discussion about the efficiency of using a dishwasher in the first place (I’m pro while my husband’s not and guess who does the dishes usually). If it’s the same at your house, have a look at some facts about handwashing versus the dishwasher.

If you own a dishwasher built prior to 1994, it could be costing you as much as $40 extra on your annual energy bill and wasting more than 10 gallons of water per cycle. If this is the case, it may well be worth investing in a newer energy efficient model.

Another general tip for being efficient with your dishwasher is to choose one that is the right size for your household. You may think that you’re saving by buying a compact model, but in the end you may end up using more energy and water if you’re having to run it more frequently than a standard sized dishwasher.

Use water saving cycles for lightly soiled dishes to conserve even more energy and water.

Finally, always run a full dishwasher and scrape food off, but don’t rinse first.

I’ve listed the five most energy efficient standard-sized dishwashers first. These are dishwashers that have a capacity greater than or equal to eight place settings and six serving pieces. In order to qualify as ENERGY STAR appliances, they must have an annual energy usage 296 kWh/year or less and use less than 4.25 gallons per cycle. I’ve used annual energy efficiency as my criteria for being the most efficient models.

An asterisk (*) denotes minor variations in the model number at these positions.

**THE TOP FIVE ENERGY EFFICIENT STANDARD-SIZED DISHWASHER MODELS:**

1) **Asko D5894A** – This is the most efficient model out there, using 171kWh/year and 4.1 gallons of water per cycle. It is 52% more efficient than the federal standard.

2) A number of models tie for second place, all with an annual energy use of 180 kWh/year. The Bosch models **SHE68E05UC**, **SHE8ER5*UC**, **SHV68E13UC**, **SHX68E05UC**, **SHX68E15UC**, and **SHX8ER5*UC** all use 2.22 gallons of water per cycle. Two models by **Gaggenau, DF260760** and **DF261760**, use 2.46 gallons per cycle.

3) In third place is another** Bosch** model, **SHX98M0*UC**, which uses 190 kWh/year and 2.9 gallons per cycle.

4) Several more** Bosch** models take fourth place with 200 kWh/year energy use and 2.22 gallons per cycle. The models are **SHE9ER5*UC**, **SHV9ER5*UC**, and **SHX9ER5*UC**.

5) The **Asko** models, **D5554** and **D5654**, tie for fifth place, using 206 kWh/year and 4.12 gallons per cycle.

Just like in 2010, Bosch and Asko dominate the top five list. I’ve listed the highest rated models for some of the more popular brands in case Bosch and Asko don’t meet your needs in other ways.

**Frigidaire:**FGBD2431***A, FGBD2435***A, or LGBD2431***B all use 266 kWh/year and 4.10 gallons/cycle.**GE:**Profile PDWT600DII – 269 kWh/year and 3.02 gallons/cycle.**JennAir:**JDB3600AW** or JDB3650AW** – 292 kWh/year and 4.18 gallons/cycle.**Kenmore:**1325*K***, 1326*K***, 1329*K***, and 1336*K*** – 253 kWh/year and 2.9 gallons/cycle.**LG:**LDF655***, LDF756***, LDF807***, and LDF857*** – 245 kWh/year and 2.5 gallons/cycle.**Thermador:**DWHD650G**, DWHD650J**, DWHD651GFP, and DWHD651J** – 260 kWh/year and between 2.46 and 2.85 gallons/cycle.**Viking:**FDB451****, SDB451****, VDB451**** – 271 kWh/year and 4.2 gallons/cycle.**Whirlpool:**WDF750SAY**, WDF775SAY**, WDF780SLY**, WDF780SLY**, WDT770PAY**, WDT790SAY**, WDT790SLY**, WDT910SAY**, and WDT910SSY**- 245 kWh/year and 2.85 gallons/cycle.

**THE MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT COMPACT SIZED DISHWASHER:**

Compact models have a capacity of anything less than that of a standard-sized model (see above). To qualify for Energy Star, compact models must have an annual energy usage of 222 kWh and use less than 3.5 gallons of water per cycle.

The most energy efficient compact dishwasher currently on the market is two models made **by Fisher and Paykel**, the **DD24S****7** and **DD24S**17**, both of which have an annual energy usage of 137 kWh and use 2.01 gallons of water per cycle.

So, there it is! If you’re in the market for an energy efficient dishwasher in 2012, these are the models to keep your eye out for. Happy shopping!