With utility bills always increasing, its assumed that dishwashers can be expensive to run.
However, one dishwasher cycle costs the same in resource consumption (if not less) as heating 4-6 sink tubs. An average dishwasher uses 13 litres of water per cycle and a kitchen tap runs at 6 litres per minute, so you’re paying per kWh and per cubic metre every time you heat and fill the sink.
So, if you’re looking for a new dishwasher, it’s important to find the most efficient option to help keep the monthly bills down.
We’re going to help you out with that by showing you which use the least water and electricity and are therefore the cheapest to run.
Cheapest Full-Size Dishwashers To Run
If you want the absolute lowest energy usage dishwashers then you may find yourself looking at the higher price brackets.
EU Energy Labels range from A+++ (best efficiency) to D (worst efficiency). You will find that most models have at least an A rating however they’re actually average in performance and use 25% more energy than higher rated models A+++ models.
If cost-cutting the monthly bills is critical, then it will be necessary to invest in a unit that’s rated greater than at least A+.
We’ve picked our favourites with the best value in mind.
#1 SHARP QW-DX26F41A Full-size
The SHARP QW-DX26F41A Full-size Stainless-Steel Dishwasher is highly rated for its efficiency levels.
- It has an exceptional energy rating of A+++ and in the scale of A-G, it gets an A for drying efficiency.
- Per cycle, it uses 9 litres of water and 0.81 kWh of electricity with a noise output of 41 dB.
- Environment-friendly, the advanced inverter motor is super quiet, effective, and guaranteed for 10 years.
The Sharp Dishwasher has an Intelliwash cycle that creates and manages the wash conditions for best results every wash. With 12 place settings, its ideal for small households and will help save on energy, water and money.
Dishwashers come in different sizes with different capacity, which is measured in place settings. It’s common to find models with capacity between 6 and 15 place settings. Full-sized dishwashers usually start with 12 place settings and proven to be more efficient than smaller models.
Other unique features include a special filter to remove bacteria, 8 wash programs, built-in water softener, and overflow protection.
Based on 3 washes per week, the running cost for the Sharp Dishwasher is estimated at just over £430 over 10 years (£43 per year to run).
Purchase info: SHARP QW-DX26F41A
#2 BELLING FDW150 Full-size
The BELLING FDW150 Full-size White Dishwasher made our list for best value in operating costs.
- It has a high energy rating of A+++ and is reported to be 30% more efficient than standard dishwashers.
- Per cycle, it uses 10 litres of water and 0.84 kWh of electricity with a noise output of 40 dB meaning it’s quieter than most.
- This model offers Eco Watersaving and TurboDry programs and a two-year guarantee.
Whenever a model offers an eco-setting, use it as often as possible to reduce your electricity and water consumption and utilise the maximum capacity.
The TurboDry function is useful when you need extra heat to get those dishes dried quickly. It’s A+ drying class means its 10% better at drying than the common A-rated dishwashers.
It also has spacious capacity for 15 place settings and seven pre-set wash programs so its versatile and can handle different types of loads. The overflow protection monitors the water level and will cut the supply if too much water flows in.
The Belling model has a built-in water softener and will help prevent against corrosion if you live in an area with hard water. Note that 63% of dishwashers do not have built-in water softeners.
The FDW150 has an average running cost of £408 over 10 years based on average energy prices (£40.80p per year to run).
Purchase info: BELLING FDW150
#3 AMICA ZIM688E Full-size Integrated Dishwasher
The AMICA ZIM688E Full-size Integrated Dishwasher is highly rated for its efficiency levels.
- It has an excellent A+++ energy rating for greater savings on monthly bills.
- Per cycle, it uses 9 litres of water and 0.83 kWh with a noise output of 45 dB so although it’s still quiet, the Sharp and Belling models had better noise ratings.
- Annual electricity cost when switched on (based on 3 washes per week) over 10 years is about £400. However, when your machine is in standby mode, you’re adding more than £20 to the yearly electricity cost.
Running the Amica dishwasher over 10 years will consume under 19,000 litres of water – that’s the equivalent to 70 baths. Its good value for money offering 14 place settings and a variety of great features.
It has an Intensive program for the dirtier loads and grease-covered pots. The cycle runs a hot water pre-wash and then 2 after-wash rinse cycles to get those pots and pans sparkling clean.
The Delicate wash has a special setting for fragile dinnerware like porcelain or crystal. The gentle wash prevents scratches and streaks.
The Aqua Spray feature ensures the dishes are washed properly, and an electric rinse aid and salt indicator keeps the water soft and performance high.
The Amica dishwasher costs £430 to run over 10 years, based on 3 washes per week (£43 per year to run). .
Purchase info: AMICA ZIM688E
Cheapest Slimline Dishwashers To Run
It’s known that Slimline dishwashers use more energy than the standard models so it’s critical to find a Slimline unit that offers energy-saving programs that complete a wash cycle as efficiently as possible to stop your bills creeping up.
#1 KENWOOD KID45S17 Slimline
The KENWOOD KID45S17 Slimline Integrated Dishwasher has an average running cost of £380 over 10 years based on typical tariffs, making it one of the cheaper units to run (£38 per year to run).
- It has an excellent A++ energy rating and an A+ rated drying class. The most common drying class is an A.
- Per cycle, it uses 9 litres of water and 0.74 kWh with a noise output of 47 dB. The quietest noise level for dishwashers is 38 dB and the loudest is 96 dB giving an average and acceptable noise level at 46 dB.
- Its annual energy consumption is about 211 kWh and annual water usage around 2,530 litres.
- Its power consumption in off-mode is 0.45 kWh and when on standby it uses 0.49 kWh.
This model has 10 place settings and supports the half-load function so when the dishwasher is only partially loaded, use this setting to reduce the water and energy consumption.
It has an A-rated washing class, delayed start timer, and 7 temperature settings.
The Kenwood KID45S16 has Intensive, Quick, Normal, Delicate and Auto dishwashing programs.
It includes the overflow protection to prevent damage and flooding in case of a drainage fault.
Purchase info: KENWOOD KID45S17
#2 KENWOOD KDW45W16 Slimline White Dishwasher
The KENWOOD KDW45W16 Slimline White Dishwasher is a smaller unit with 9 place settings designed to minimise its impact with high efficiency ratings.
- It has an excellent A++ energy rating and the efficiency ratings for washing and drying both get an A.
- Per cycle, it uses 9 litres of water and 0.69 kWh with a noise output of 47 dB and has a one-year warranty.
- It offers 8 different wash cycles: Auto, Eco, Glass, Intensive, Normal, Rapid, Soak, and a 90 min cycle.
This dishwasher will cost £360 to operate over 10 years based on 3 washes per week (£36 per year to run). It has very low running costs and good features that include a built-in water softener, and detergent and salt indicators for easy maintenance.
The Kenwood KDW45W16 contains a self-cleaning filter, which automatically runs water after a cycle to rinse out the appliance and remove any residue foods. Having a feature like this means less manual cleaning is required.
The child lock mechanism prevents opening the dishwasher during a wash cycle. It’s useful if you have small children around to avoid any mishaps.
It has 5 temperature settings and a low annual energy consumption of 197 kWh.
Purchase info: KENWOOD KDW45W16
#3 KENWOOD KDW45S16 Slimline Silver Dishwasher
The KENWOOD KDW45S16 Slimline Silver Dishwasher is a fraction more than the KDW45W16 model in white and with very little difference.
- It also has an A++ energy rating and A-rated for drying and washing efficiency.
- Per cycle, it uses 9 litres of water and 0.69 kWh with a noise output of 47 dB and a one-year warranty.
- The average annual consumption for energy is 197 kWh and for water 2,520 litres.
When unloaded, the top basked is height-adjustable and has a stainless-steel interior with a self-cleaning filter, control lock, overflow protection, and an ExtraDry function.
It comes with all the necessary accessories such as a cutlery basket, water supply hose, detergent measuring spoon, measuring cup, condensation strip, salt funnel, U-shape hose holder, and manual.
The Kenwood Silver Slimline freestanding dishwasher also offers 8 different programs including the ECO cycle as well as 5 different wash temperatures.
Other features include the built-in water softener, stainless steel interior, built-in display, and rinse aid and salt indicators.
Based on 3 washes per week using average energy prices, this model costs £360 to operate over 10 years, putting this unit in the top 8% of cheapest running costs (£36 per year to run).
Purchase info: KENWOOD KDW45S16
How do energy ratings work?
The EU Energy label rates products from A to G is required by law to be displayed on the dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, electric ovens, fridge, and freezers etc.
Appliances are graded according to their energy consumption in kWh. Electricity is charged in kilo Watt hours i.e. units of energy used per hour. The less kWh used, the more efficient the appliance.
How much does electricity cost on average?
The average kWh unit price (ex VAT) ranges between 12-13 pence.
How much does water cost on average?
On average, water will cost £405 a year (or £33.75 a month) in 2018/19. The rates will vary depending on where you live. Up north, you could expect to pay £18 more on average.
When is it cheapest to run your dishwasher?
Besides the common features that come with most dishwashers, good quality models offer several eco-friendly features. Automatic load recognition adjusts the resource consumption according to the loaded weight. Other eco features let the machine switch on automatically during off-peak times for lower electricity tariffs.
Even more advanced models display the energy and water usage on the control panel for constant monitoring.
Electricity tariffs vary between providers and the time of the day when its used. Peak hours are usually between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday. Off-peak hours have cheaper rates and recommended to use your appliances during these times whenever possible. Speak to your electricity provider to for exact details on their rates.