We have a question on our forums here at appliance.net asking readers to post about their favorite appliance. Surprisingly, no one mentioned their dishwasher. Dishwashers save not only time, but energy and water as well. The Department of Energy (DOE) has not rated dishwashers for their water usage until now. Currently, the EnergyStar rating is based on energy usage. The change could save American families more than $25 million in energy and water bills in the first 6 months the criteria are in effect.
The criteria will go into effect in two phases. The first set of criteria will apply on August 11, 2009, and the second will apply on July 1, 2011. DOE estimates that by 2012, the new guidelines will save Americans 671 billion Btu and 1.13 billion gallons of water per year. With the new water saving requirement, consumers using ENERGY STAR dishwashers will save more than a gallon of water with each dishwashing cycle. Manufacturers are also eligible to receive tax credits for the production of dishwashers that meet the new ENERGY STAR dishwasher criteria under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
In the first phase, ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers will be required to be at least 48% more efficient than federal energy efficiency standards require, saving the nation over 71 million kWh of energy and more than 500 million gallons of water per year. Stricter federal energy efficiency standards take effect January 1, 2010. In the second phase, ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers must be at least 13.5% more efficient than the 2010 federal energy efficiency standards, saving the Nation over 95 million kWh of energy and more than 830 million gallons of water per year. The ENERGY STAR criteria for dishwashers were last modified on January 1, 2007.