Cost To Run A Dishwasher Revealed [6 Valuable Cost Saving Tips]

How much does it cost to run a dishwasher? Find out here, based on 601 models. Plus, see how you can reduce the cost to run a dishwasher with these 6 useful tips.

Based on 601 models, this article details how much it costs to run a dishwasher per cycle, month and year. Dishwasher electricity costs and water usage costs are revealed, along with the cost to run standout energy efficient dishwashers.

Also, you’ll get 6 practical tips that will reduce the cost of running your dishwasher.

Spoilers:

  • It costs just under 19 cents per load to run a dishwasher.
  • The cost of electricity required to run a dishwasher is equivalent to running a ceiling fan for 44 hours straight.
  • Modern dishwasher water costs are less than hand washing water costs.
  • It costs $0.176, 7% less than average, to run Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Built-In Dishwashers – see the product on Amazon, here.

Continue reading to get a shortlist of the most energy efficient dishwashers along with their running costs, and see how hand washing compares with the cost to run a dishwasher.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Dishwasher image containg a dishwasher, text and dollars

How much does it cost to run a dishwasher

Dishwashers cost $0.189 per cycle, $3.38 per month and $40.54 per year to run, on average.

This includes electricity and water costs, and assumes 215 cycles per year.

Continue reading to get more details on the running costs including a breakdown on the costs by electricity and water usage, and cost ranges per load, month and year. 

The costs throughout this article assume a kWh rate of $0.15 (the US average according to Statista) and a cost per gallon of $0.004 (the US average according to the American Water Works Association). The running costs relate to electricity and water costs only, and do not include cleaning products, etc. Get details and background research into the running costs via these related posts: dishwasher electricity usage and dishwasher water usage.

How much does it cost to run a dishwasher per load

It costs just under 19 cents per load to run a dishwasher, on average.

Overall, the cost to run a dishwasher per load ranges from $0.085 to $0.202, with the most common cost being just over 20 cents.

Electricity is the main running expense, accounting for 93% of the running costs.

Water costs account for just 7% of the running costs.

The table below shows the electricity and water costs per load, along with the total cost per load.

Electricity cost per loadWater cost per loadTotal cost per load
Average$0.176$0.013$0.189
Most common$0.188$0.014$0.202
Highest$0.188$0.014$0.202
Lowest$0.079$0.007$0.085

Cost to run a dishwasher per month

It costs $3.38 per month to run a dishwasher, on average.

The most common monthly running cost for dishwashers is $3.63.

It costs between $1.53 and $3.63 per month to run a dishwasher.

These costs are based on 215 cycles per year, which works out close to 18 cycles per month.

The table below shows the dishwasher running cost breakdown per month.

Electricity cost per monthWater cost per monthTotal cost per month
Average$3.15$0.23$3.38
Most common$3.38$0.25$3.63
Highest$3.38$0.25$3.63
Lowest$1.41$0.12$1.53

Cost to run a dishwasher per year

It costs $40.54 to run a dishwasher per year, on average.

Overall, the cost to run a dishwasher ranges from $18.36 to $43.51 annually, with $43.51 being the most common cost.

The table below shows the annual electricity and water costs, along with the total cost to run a dishwasher.

Electricity cost per yearWater cost per yearTotal cost per year
Average$37.77$2.76$40.54
Most common$40.50$3.01$43.51
Highest$40.50$3.01$43.51
Lowest$16.95$1.41$18.36

These costs assume 215 cycles per year.

Next, let’s look at the electricity costs and water costs in more detail, separately.

Dishwasher electricity cost 

Dishwasher electricity costs range from $0.085 to $0.202 per load, $1.53 to $3.63 per month and $18.36 to $43.51 per year.

Electricity costs account for approx. 93% of dishwasher running costs.

Many factors impact dishwasher electricity costs including the model, the selected cycle, how often it’s used, and your unit / kWh rate.

But, on average, it costs $0.176 per load, $3.15 per month and $37.77 per year in electricity to run a dishwasher.

This assumes 215 cycles per year and a cost per kWh of 15 cents (the US average).

Taking the average cost per load ($0.176), and breaking down the dishwasher electricity costs into the key components that use electricity:

  • It costs $0.148 in electricity to run the heater, per load.
  • It costs $0.025 in electricity to run the dishwasher motor, per cycle.
  • It costs $0.0035 in electricity per load to run the drain pump.

For more details on how dishwashers use electricity, and dishwasher energy efficiency in general, visit: Dishwasher Wattage [601 Studied | Most Efficient Revealed].

But next, let’s add some perspective to the electricity costs.

Are dishwashers expensive to run

Yes. Dishwashers are expensive to run.

They’re considered energy guzzlers.

Based on electricity costs alone, let’s add some context to the costs by comparing dishwasher electricity costs to the electricity cost of other common household appliances.

The electricity cost to run a dishwasher per load ($0.176), is equivalent to:

For more perspective, let’s take a look at the impact that dishwashers have on electric bills.

Dishwasher electricity bill impact

Dishwashers account for nearly 3% of electric bills.

This is based on an electricity bill of $115 (the average electricity bill in the US according to eia.gov), and the average monthly cost to run a dishwasher, which is $3.15 (assuming 215 cycles per year, which is close to 18 cycles per month).

Dishwashers can increase electric bills by between $1.53 and $3.63 per month.

Your dishwasher’s impact on your electricity bill will vary depending on your usage, model, cycles used, etc.

For example, if you run a Heavy cycle more often than an Express cycle, your dishwasher will cost more to run, and, as a result, will increase your electric bills even more.

Dishwashers don’t just impact electric bills, they impact water bills too. So next, let’s take a look at dishwasher water costs.

Dishwasher water cost

Dishwasher water costs range from $0.007 to $0.014 per load, $0.12 to $0.25 per month and $1.41 to $3.01 per year.

Water costs account for approx. 7% of dishwasher running costs.

Many factors impact dishwasher water costs including the model, level of usage, the cycle used, and the rate you pay per gallon.

But, on average, it costs $0.013 per load, $0.23 per month and $2.76 per year in water to run a dishwasher.

This assumes 215 cycles per year and a cost per gallon of $0.004 (the US average).

Again, the water costs vary with cycle type. See how much water each dishwasher cycle uses, here.

Cheapest dishwashers to run

I listed 8 standout energy efficient dishwashers, here, which I’ll use again.

The table below lists the running costs, both electricity and water costs, of 8 standout energy efficient dishwashers. The table is arranged from lowest to higher running costs.

DishwasherCost per load (electricity & water costs)ENERGY STAR Certified?ENERGY STAR Most Efficient?Amazon link
Summit – DW18SS4$0.163YesYeshttps://www.amazon.com/Summit-Appliance-DW18SS4-Qualified-Dishwasher/dp/B087373WQ5
Blomberg – DWT 81800 ****$0.166YesYeshttps://www.amazon.com/Blomberg-DWT81800SSIH-Integrated-Dishwasher-Stainless/dp/B07PXMHNTC
Summit Professional – DW2435SS$0.174YesYeshttps://www.amazon.com/Summit-DW2435SS-Integrated-Dishwasher-Stainless/dp/B07S6ZTRNM
Smeg – STU8642$0.175YesYeshttps://us.amazon.com/Smeg-Integrated-Dishwasher-Settings-Softener/dp/B07CX4TXX2
Edgestar – BIDW1802**$0.176YesNohttps://www.amazon.com/EdgeStar-BIDW1802SS-Setting-Energy-Dishwasher/dp/B07RP2S2R9/
Danby – DDW1804EB$0.176YesNohttps://www.amazon.com/Danby-DDW1804EB-Built-Dishwasher-Black/dp/B07VJHZMF1/
SPT – SD-9254SS$0.176YesNohttps://www.amazon.com/SPT-SD-9254SS-Stainless-Built-Dishwasher/dp/B07RC27S9G
Frigidaire – FFID2426***A$0.191YesNohttps://www.amazon.com/Frigidaire-FFID2426TS-Integrated-Dishwasher-Stainless/dp/B0725H59WW

Also included in the table are links to Amazon for more details, whether or not the model is ENERGY STAR certified and if it achieved the coveted “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label.

The dishwasher that is bolded in the table is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Built-In Dishwashers

Due to its energy efficiency, price, style, reliability and reviews, it was selected as the Editor’s Choice, in this dishwasher energy efficiency article.

Check out this standout dishwasher on Amazon, here.

OK, now that we know how much dishwashers cost to run, let’s take a look at some FAQs.

FAQs

The following are answers to common questions / queries that I came across when researching dishwasher running costs before we jump into ways that the costs can be reduced.

Next, let’s take a look at 6 tips that can help you reduce the cost of running your dishwasher.

Reduce the cost of running a dishwasher – 6 cost saving tips

  1. Only run when fully loaded. Dishwashers, in general, use roughly the same amount of water and electricity regardless if they’re fully loaded or not. One dishwasher load per week can be eliminated if you fully load your dishwasher every time you use it, according to epa.gov. Only using your dishwasher when it’s fully loaded can save you over $10 p/y, while also having the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint.
  2. Scrape clean first, and soon. Rinsing dishes before putting them into the dishwasher can use water unnecessarily. Modern dishwashers and cleaning products are designed to do all the cleaning for you. Scraping soon after use helps reduce the build up of stubborn stains, which helps make your dishwasher more effective, and reduces the overall amount of water used because it reduces the need for rinsing.
  3. Upgrade to a more efficient model. Modern ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers use new energy saving technologies, such as enhanced water filtration, improved jets, soil sensors and more efficient rack designs. A shortlist of some standout ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers are listed above for convenience, along with links to Amazon.
  4. Use energy saving cycles more. Heavy, Auto and even Normal cycles can use significantly more energy than what’s listed for the device. Learn more about this, and dishwasher wattage, here. If there’s an Eco, Energy Saving or Express cycle, consider using it more to reduce your running costs.
  5. Wash at night (if you’re on an appropriate tariff). Running electric appliances at night, during off-peak hours, can save you around 50% on your electricity costs. If running a dishwasher (along with other energy guzzlers) at night is a viable option for you, consider getting in touch with your energy provider to inquire about switching to a night tariff. This will likely increase your on-peak / daytime rate so you should assess if there’ll actually be an overall cost saving for you before changing your tariff.
  6. Switch utility provider. Utility providers typically offer discounted rates to entice new customers. If you’re out of contract, consider shopping around for reduced electricity and water rates. This won’t just reduce the cost to run your dishwasher, it’ll reduce the cost to run all of your household appliances.

Reducing the water and electricity cost of running your dishwasher has the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint.

If you’d like to reduce your carbon footprint even more, consider asking your utility provider about their Green energy options. Granted, this will likely increase your bills, but it might be worth it for the more energy conscious reader.

Final thoughts

Dishwashers are energy guzzlers. As a result, they can get expensive to run.

I hope that the cost saving tips help keep your dishwasher running costs and carbon footprint low.

For more details on dishwasher electricity usage and dishwasher water usage: