You may believe that the most energy efficient dishwasher is two hands and a sponge. Unlike a lot of other chores that are best done manually, like line drying your clothes, dishwashing is actually better done by an Energy Star qualified dishwasher.
In fact, using a high efficiency dishwasher can save your household 5,000 gallons of water a year and cut your energy bill by forty dollars. Why? Because much of the energy is used to heat the water, and the newest machines are designed for the highest possible water efficiency… unlike your thirteen year old son with a bottle of soap.
Having said that, you must also understand that the energy efficiency of each dishwasher can vary greatly. If you have one that was manufactured before 1994, or a newer appliance that is not Energy Star qualified, you could save yourself a considerable amount on your energy bill and reduce your household water and greenhouse gas pollutants by replacing it with a newer efficient model.
For our 2013 top energy efficient dishwashers, I used the Energy Star list as a benchmark but also required that the models I steer you toward are easy to find and meet the needs of the average household. Please keep in mind, however, that appliance manufacturers are constantly turning over model numbers, so this list will have a rather short shelf-life. You can always call your appliance store to find out the new model number of an appliance you’re interested in.
The dishwashers will be ranked using capacity (number of place settings that fit in each load), kilowatt hours per year (kWh), gallons of water per cycle, the noise factor (dB), and availability.
Top Energy Efficient Dishwashers: 2013
BOSCH SHVGE13UC (SHE8ER5#UC, SHX68E15UC, SHX68E05UC, SHE68E05UC)
Energy Usage: 180 kWh Water/cycle: 2.22 gallons
Noise: 40 dB Capacity: 15 place settings
Availability: This Bosch series is available directly through the manufacturer web site, as well as at ABC Warehouse, Best Buy, and Sears. I found five locations within fifteen minutes of my Detroit suburb.
GAGGENAU DF 260 SERIES
Energy Usage: 180 kWh Water/cycle: 2.6 gallons
Noise: 41 dB Capacity: 14 place settings
Availability: This brand got a slightly lower rank than the Bosch because it is only available at high end specialty kitchen showrooms. You can search your zip code on their web site to find local distributors. There was only one in the Detroit area.
Energy Usage: 190 kWh Water/cycle: 2.9 gallons
Noise: 42 dB Capacity: 14 place settings
ASKO D5894XXLHS LARGE CAPACITY
Energy Usage: 206 kWh Water/cycle: 2.6 gallons
Noise: 44 dB Capacity: 17 place settings *ideal for a larger family/household
Availability: Asko maintains a nationwide network of dealers, easily located via their online zip code search (there were ten independent Asko dealers in my area).
FISHER AND PAYKEL DD245****7 COMPACT DRAWER
Since I recognize that some of us live in smaller homes, or simply do not use as many dishes, I have decided to include one innovative, efficient compact model dishwasher for your convenience.
Energy Usage: 141 kWh Water/cycle: 2 gallons
Noise: Not Available Capacity: 7 place settings (accommodates plates up to 12″)
Availability: This brand is available at Lowe’s and online via Amazon.
As you search for your new dishwasher, make sure you take the size of your kitchen and the size of your family into account. While it might seem to make more sense to buy a smaller, compact model dishwasher, you could end up using more energy and money because you have to run it more often.
Reduce Indoor Toxins
Your dishwasher, or rather your dishwasher detergent, is your largest in home airborne toxin. Because the chemicals in mainstream dish detergents are spewed out in the form of a steam, they are immediately distributed throughout hour home and into your body. Please remember to use only natural dishwashing detergents for cleaner air quality and a reduction in water pollutants.