If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dishwashers and Electric bills

a portion of our last utility bill
our water and electricity is on the same bill
notice that the previous months bill was about $28 higher than this months bill
we heat our home with natural gas and that bill is from a different company

I think I have heard at least a dozen times, from "energy experts" that automatic dishwashers cost less to use than old fashioned handwashing.   I have about decided that those experts must be paid off by the dishwasher and dishwasher detergent makers!  

Several years ago,  I did an experiment with my bill, trying to lower it and hand washed all dishes for a month.  
My utility bill was lower that month,  you can read about it on my old blog
A Home With A Smile 

I had pretty much forgot that until I got this last utility bill.  I was wondering why it was so much lower,  
then I remember I had not been using the dishwasher because it was not working correctly even before it flooded my kitchen.  

And have you priced dishwasher detergent lately?  None of them are cheap.
Liquid hand dishwashing soap costs a lot less than the automatic stuff too.  

So,  if you are really trying to lower your utility bills and grocery store bills,  you might want to switch to handwashing.  
As I type this,  my dishwasher is running- cleaning all the breakfast and lunch dishes-
I am not giving it up right now but I certainly could if needed. 

17 comments:

  1. I've not experimented the way you have but just recently learned that I can find out exactly what energy each of my appliances is consuming by looking at my smart meter information. I didn't ask for a smart meter but the power company here installed them against the wishes of a lot of people. Thankfully it isn't that close to where I live in case there are any real health issues. As long as it's there, I think I should use it to find out about electricity consumption and see what changes need to be made. p.s. I do a lot of dishwashing by hand every day but still use the dishwasher also.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Joyful, Our town has started adding the smart meters but we don't have one on our home yet. I am not opposed to them and I think I can figure out actual energy usage with a smart meter.

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  2. Interesting! I'd never given much thought to the cost of running the dishwasher. I had no idea how much electricity my dryer used until I started hanging clothes a few years ago. Wow! What a difference in the bill!

    I cloth diaper at home, and I stupidly thought that would actually save us money. Well, I have to do a cold water wash, then a hot water wash, then the all-in-ones are so thick that they take 2 dryer cycles to dry (too thick to air dry before they're needed again). Our water and electric bills are higher than ever. And there's the cost of the special detergent. Oh, and because he screams like a banshee when he's wet, I usually put him in a disposable when we go out. He also sleeps in a disposable...

    Funny how the money-saving things sometimes really aren't.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anne Marie - any way you look at it, diapers are expensive. When my children were little and we lived in Marine housing, I used cloth because our utilities were included with our base house. But when we lived in off-base housing, I used disposable.
      My grandchildren are in disposable too, but all the ones I have bought have been on sale, with coupons, whatever good deal I could find.

      If wet diapers really bother your son, he probably would be happier in disposable because they don't seem to feel wet unless they are just soaked.

      This money saving is tricky business, isn't it? I do what I can as much as it is comfortable and could do more if I had too, but sometimes we just don't know what is best, do we?

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    2. I recently replaced my dishwasher around the first of the year. Or maybe in late December. But I agree handwashing is alot cheaper. Seems to run forever.

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  3. Well I have always wondered that. We hand wash with just the 2 of us. It is just easier. It doesn't take much for us. But when my kids and grands come it is either paper plates or the dishwasher!!! lol

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  4. I have been married for 43 years and have handwashed dishes all that time. I never have had the opportunity to try a dishwasher until we rented a condo at the beach for a family vacation and didn't know how to run it. So we just hand washed again!
    All my married kids have them, though and love them.

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  5. It's amazing how much some of these modern day appliances can increase our energy bills.........I've never owned a dishwasher or a tumble dryer, I've always hand washed the dishes and line dried the washing..........but last summer we had solar panels fitted on our roof, the government were running a scheme in our area and so we had them for free.................it's made a real difference in lowering our energy bills.

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    1. Hi Lily I think solar panels would be wonderful and how nice you got them free.
      I can tell this dishwasher uses power, it just aggravates me that the "experts" tell me it is cheaper than handwashing.

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  6. Hi Rhonda,
    We use our dishwasher everyday. Our light bill is not that much. Maybe because the new one we got is an energy star one. I think that may make a diffence. I love you Valentines boxes. We had a nice day.
    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

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  7. I had a dishwasher repair man tell me once to use the good old liquid dish soap in my dishwasher. Only 1 teaspoon though...so it doesn't create too much suds.
    I also don't use the heated dry option...the dishes are wet, but then I just let them air dry just like they would in a rack in the sink.

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    Replies
    1. really Betsy? I always heard to never put dish liquid in the DW. Must be another one of those myths we hear and think it must be true.
      Thanks for the tip, I will try it and will just use a teaspoon.

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    2. well be real careful...I switched from powder to a gel and my husband tried to be kind and start the machine and used the dish detergent thinking he had the gel and twice, we have had a floor full of suds...so just use a little!@!!

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  8. thanks for the tip...I do love my dish washer...but hate to unload it...have thought about doing more hand washing...but then will the water bill go up?????

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  9. I dislike unloading the DW too, it is much easier to unload the countertop drainer I think.
    In my previous handwashing experiment, both my electric and water totals went down. They are on the same bill. This time, I don't have the previous months statement to compare the elec. and water in both months, I just know the total bill went down.
    I guess is depends on how you handwash, I pre-rinse everything, wash in one sink full of hot water and bubbles, then rinse in the other sink in a dishpan. I can't stand "soupy dishwater" so I change any water that gets the least bit yucky.
    No, I don't think handwashing uses more the dishwasher, I really think it is myth put out by the dishwasher makers.

    I will be careful when I try Betsy's tip! I guess if my kitchen does get flooded with bubbles, that would be a funny blog post :)

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  10. I hadn't thought about that before, but maybe that's why my gas bill is so low, low for the snow country anyways. I don't have a dish washer, I am it!
    Have a lovely week, Cindy

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  11. Rhonda is right, cleaning in the dishwasher is more efficient but only for certain ways of handwashing. The handwashing the "experts" are referring to is the style when you keep the water running the whole time you are washing. That way uses a lot more resources. If you fill up a tub/sink, turn off the water, and then wash your dishes, that will always be more efficient than a dishwasher.

    So it looks like you were already the most efficient dish washer out there!

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I love to hear from you - thanks for telling me what you think.

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda