Green Dishwashers – Buying Energy Efficient
White goods and other domestic appliances are responsible for almost 50% of overall domestic electricity usage. In these time of tight finances and rising energy bills that’s a serious dent on your wallet but, as ever, there are many ways to reduce costs. Buying energy efficient appliances is a great way to give yourself a head-start in reducing your bill, and of course doing your bit for the ecosystem at the same time!
The majority of household own a dishwasher and being rather reliable appliances they often keep in use for 10+ years before being replaced, so the small energy saving you will make on each wash cycle will quickly add up. An average household will run a dishwasher by well over 200 wash cycles a year – which adds up into the thousands of cycles over the dishwasher’s lifespan.
If you’re looking to buy a new dishwasher within the EU, the time of action of finding an energy efficient form is made very easy, using the EU Energy Efficiency Rating. This takes into account energy and water consumption. Almost all dishwashers are Energy rated using a simple grading extent from A by G. The difference in efficiency is very meaningful, with lower graded models (D or below) potentially cost double the amount in energy costs! If you don’t live in the EU, most other countries make use of a very similar extent, perhaps replacing the A-G extent with numbers or such, but the basic concept is the same.
If you are a US consumer it has to be said that things are a bit trickier when trying to be green in your new dishwasher buy. Unlike the more uniform systems for measuring energy efficiency that the majority of other countries use, the United States uses the Energy Star system, a voluntary system overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency. The system differs greatly from the other systems, with appliances not being graded but rather giving form specific advice such as the estimated yearly operating cost and the estimated yearly electric usage. This makes things a bit more difficult for the consumer as everybody’s usage will be different. It is only recently that the system has taken into account a dishwasher’s water consumption alongside its electricity use! The Energy Star system should only be used as a loose guideline and you should do your own research on specific models to go alongside the Energy Star rating.
Of course you can also help enhance energy efficiency using your current dishwasher (or make already further savings with your new green form) with a few simple methods – always make sure the dishwasher is complete before running a cycle, let the dishes air dry (the dishwashers drying cycle is the most energy intensive part), or try running at lower temperatures. Most detergents obtainable today are able to clean just as effectively at lower temps.