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Need a reason to replace your old dishwasher – Minnesota Energy Tips has the information to help consumers clean up

May 02, 2014

For Immediate Release:

Reason number one: Older dishwashers use more water and electricity than newer, ENERGY STAR® models. To get started on the right track, when shopping for a new dishwasher, always look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency that helps save money and protects the environment through energy efficient products and practices. 

An ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher will:

  • Trim your utility bills. Dishwashers made before 1994 will cost you $40 more in energy costs annually than a new ENERGY STAR model.

  • Save loads of water. A dishwasher built before 1994 wastes more than 10 gallons of water per cycle. A new ENERGY STAR model will save, on average, 1,300 gallons of water over its lifetime. It is about 15 percent more water efficient than standard models.

  • Save the environment. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal and natural gas, which releases greenhouse gases and other air pollutants into the atmosphere. ENERGY STAR-certified dishwashers use less energy than conventional models, which helps reduce air pollution and combat global climate change.

Some basic efficiency tips for all dishwashers—old and new:

  • Wash only full loads. Even with a sensor, you will still use nearly the same amount of hot water and electricity, regardless of how many dishes are inside.

  • Do not pre-rinse dishes. It wastes hot water and is unnecessary with newer dishwashers. A simple scrape to remove the biggest chunks is usually sufficient.

  • Use the least amount of detergent that will still clean your dishes. Excess detergent use can lead to spotting or etching, as well as some environmental concerns.

The ENERGY STAR website contains tools to help calculate savings on specific dishwasher models and compare them with models with similar features. Many utilities offer rebates for ENERGY STAR-certified dishwashers and other high efficient appliances; visit or check directly with your utility.

For efficiency and shopping tips on dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dryers, and more, see the “Appliances, Lighting, Electronics” (pdf) consumer guide provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.

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Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Contact the division’s Energy Information Center at or 800-657-3710 with energy questions.