Your dishwasher uses a great deal of energy, especially for heating water. There are several steps you can take starting today—with no investment—to reduce your bills associated with dishwashing.
Step by step:
Run full loads.
Air dry. Air drying saves about 15% of your dishwasher's total energy use. Instead of using the "heat dry" function of your washer, air dry your dishes or towel them off.
Avoid special cycles. Avoid using rinse-hold and pre-rinse features, which increase the amount of energy and water the dishwasher uses.
Wipe instead of rinse. If your dishes have excess food on them, scrape off the debris instead of rinsing it off before putting them in the dishwasher to save on hot water costs. Modern dishwashers are powerful enough to clean your dishes without your having to rinse them beforehand.
Save time and energy. Don't fall into the habit of hand-washing instead of machine washing. ENERGY STAR® certified dishwashers use less water than hand washing and can save you hundreds of hours per year.