Upgrade Dishwasher

Upgrading your dishwasher can save significantly on water, energy and money.  If you don’t have a dishwasher now, adding one can save up to 5,000 gallons of water per year!

Households: 0 completed, 1 committed
Points ?
Annual Savings
$300 - $800
Upfront Cost
These are estimates

Energy and water savings

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kWh Electricity
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Therms Natural Gas
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Gallons Gas
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Gallons Water
  • Save precious water resources
  • Save energy and money
  • Save time!

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The Action
We will upgrade our dishwasher to a new energy star dishwasher.
Is this action for me?
If you own your home, this action is for you!
When and Who?
This action is best done when your current dishwasher is at the end of it's useful life, or if it was made before 1994. Installation is often provided with delivery for an extra fee.
How long will it take?
Medium - time to look for a model that meets your needs and coordinate installation.
What is the cost?
around $300 - $800 depending on the size and features, a bit extra for installation.


  • Save precious water resources

  • Save energy and money

  • Save time!

The Basics

Upgrading your dishwasher can save water, energy, money and time. Find out when you should consider upgrading and what features to look for.


Learn about new options
Decide when to upgrade
Choose the right dishwasher
Install it right

New dishwasher efficiencies = big savings

If your dishwasher is pre 1994, upgrading to a new Energy Star dishwasher can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per year and up to $50/year on your electricity bill if you run your dishwasher twice a week.  If it is 10-20 years old, you can still save up to 100 gallons per year and $20 a year on your electricity bill if your current dishwasher is not Energy Star rated.

New models also include advanced technology that allows you to avoid pre-rinsing.  If your current model requires pre-rinsing, this alone could save you up to 1,000 gallons of water per year on upgrade.  If you don’t have a dishwasher now, adding one to your home could save you up to 5,000 gallons of water per year!

When to upgrade

Purchasing a new dishwasher is an investment. Most models are priced from $300-$800 or more.  If your current dishwasher is pre 1994, the annual savings will be significant, but may not completely pay for the upgrade during the lifetime of the new dishwasher, depending on which model you choose.

If you are currently hand washing dishes, or even pre-rinsing with hot water, it is likely to be a greater annual saving, but is still not a 3 year payback like many energy efficiency upgrades.  Generally the best time to upgrade is when your dishwasher is in need of replacement, or sooner if it was made before 1994.  The lifetime of an average dishwasher is 10-12 years.

Choosing the right dishwasher

The most important feature when you upgrade is to choose a model that is Energy Star rated and one that does not require pre-rinsing.  These two factors will result in significant savings on water, energy and your monthly bills.  Energy Star is a minimum standard and efficiencies can vary, check the label on the dishwasher for the most energy efficient Energy Star machine.  

Other factors to consider are capacity and features.  Dishwashers come in different sizes with varying capacities.  Ideally, you want to size your dishwasher so it won’t take too many days to fill the machine, since dishes will end up getting dry and crusty, and harder to clean.  There are many options on features.

One important feature to look for is a soil sensor.  The soil sensor will adjust the cycle’s time and water use to the load’s soil level, improving efficiency.  You can find a basic Energy Star model in the $600 range that will clean as well as the higher priced more feature heavy models (just possibly not as quietly).  Look for an energy efficient model that meets your family's needs and your budget.  For more information on features and models, check out this Consumer Reports buying guide.

Installing your new dishwasher

Depending on your current dishwasher set up and your new model, installing your new dishwasher could be a relatively simple or a complicated task.  If you are comfortable with home improvement projects, this might be for you.  However, installation is generally offered for an additional fee with delivery which is easy and a great way to make sure the install meets all local codes.

Use it wisely!

The most efficient dishwasher does not help if you don’t use your dishwasher wisely!  Make sure to run full loads and avoid pre-rinsing.