Energy Consumption of Dishwashers

Photo of a dishwasher


Key facts

  • In 1990, all shipped dishwashers consumed at least 600 kWh/yr. By 2015, 97% of them consumed fewer than 300 kWh/yr.
  • From 1990 to 2015, water consumption in dishwashers decreased by 59%.

For more information
  • To learn more about purchasing an energy-efficient dishwasher for your home, please visit our ENERGY STAR dishwashers page.

Average annual unit energy consumption

The annual unit energy consumption (UEC) of dishwashers decreased by 74% from 1990 to 2015.

However, the more recent improvement in energy consumption does not entirely reflect an actual improvement in energy efficiency. The 2004 amendment to the MEPS reduced the number of loads used to calculate average energy consumption from 264 to 215 per year. Therefore, the energy rating of any dishwasher would be lower according to the new standard, and data before and after 2004 is not directly comparable.

Check out our publication Choosing and Using Appliances With EnerGuide (PDF, 934 KB) for more information.


Average annual UEC of dishwashers, 1990–2015 (kWh/yr)

Average annual UEC of dishwashers, 1990–2015 (kWh/yr)

Text version

Average annual UEC of dishwashers, 1990–2015 (kWh/yr)

Model year kWh/yr
1990 1025.7
1991 959.0
1992 908.0
1993 913.5
1994 776.7
1995 670.9
1996 668.2
1997 649.2
1998 646.7
1999 640.1
2000 637.4
2001 633.7
2002 592.0
2003 523.9
2004 456.8
2005 395.7
2006 372.6
2007 353.8
2008 342.9
2009 324.7
2010 309.6
2011 298.0
2012 278.4
2013 275.2
2014 270.7
2015 268.2
Notes: Due to changes in the methodology for estimating average annual UEC for dishwashers, the data prior to 2004 are not directly comparable with those from 2004 to 2015. The vertical lines shown in 1995, 2004 and 2010 refer to the introduction of and subsequent amendments to the MEPS for dishwashers.

The new rating for dishwashers also takes into account standby power consumption (the energy used while the appliance is idle) and continues to include the energy required to heat water. Soil-sensing dishwashers are also subject to a new test procedure that reflects the average energy used when they are tested under light, medium and heavy soil loads.

Water consumption

The industry has improved the overall water consumption of dishwashers over the years. From 1990 to 2015, water consumption in dishwashers decreased by 59% (Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Efficiency, Equipment database).

Reduction in water consumption in dishwashers shipped between 1990 and 2015
1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 % Change
1990–2015
Hot water used per cycle (litres) 29.5 31.2 26.8 22.2 17.9 12.1 -59.0

Distribution of shipments by unit energy consumption

In 1990, all shipped dishwashers consumed 600 kWh/yr or more.

By 2015, 97% of them consumed fewer than 300 kWh/yr.

Dishwashers consuming less than 250 kWh/yr appeared for the first time in 2011 and attained a share of 7% in 2015.


Distribution of dishwashers by average annual UEC, 1990–2015 (%)

Distribution of dishwashers by average annual UEC, 1990–2015 (%)

Text version

Distribution of dishwashers by average annual UEC, 1990–2015 (%)

150–249.9 kWh/yr 250–299.9 kWh/yr 300–349.9 kWh/yr 350–399.9 kWh/yr 400–499.9 kWh/yr 500–599.9 kWh/yr >600 kWh/yr
1990 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 100.0
1991 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 100.0
1992 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 100.0
1993 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 99.6
1994 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 99.0
1995 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.9 0.9 98.0
1996 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.9 3.9 95.0
1997 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 1.1 20.5 78.1
1998 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.2 23.4 75.3
1999 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.4 24.9 73.6
2000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 3.9 19.3 76.7
2001 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.5 23.9 70.6
2002 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.2 13.6 37.8 45.5
2003 0.0 0.0 0.0 9.1 33.6 36.5 20.7
2004 0.0 0.0 4.0 24.3 46.4 16.5 8.8
2005 0.0 0.0 19.6 55.5 15.5 6.4 3.0
2006 0.0 0.3 28.2 61.8 5.7 2.7 1.3
2007 0.0 2.6 48.9 42.7 5.0 0.6 0.3
2008 0.0 0.6 69.7 26.9 2.7 0.0 0.0
2009 0.0 4.2 85.3 10.1 0.4 0.0 0.0
2010 0.0 13.6 79.6 6.6 0.1 0.0 0.0
2011 1.5 43.1 55.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2012 9.5 76.7 13.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2013 10.1 83.1 6.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2014 13.0 83.0 4.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2015 6.5 90.8 2.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0