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The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for residential dishwashers, a product category covered by ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements. Federal laws and requirements mandate that agencies purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified products or FEMP-designated products in all product categories covered by these programs and in any acquisition actions that are not specifically exempted by law.

FEMP's acquisition guidance and associated ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements for residential dishwashers are technology neutral, meaning that one technology is not favored over another. However, ENERGY STAR's product specification requirements are limited to standard (30-inch wide) built-in and portable dishwashers designed and manufactured for residential use.

All other dishwashing products are excluded, including but not limited to compact residential dishwashers, commercial dishwashers, flight-type dishwashers, and products covered by other ENERGY STAR program requirements.

This acquisition guidance was updated in January 2020.

Find Product Efficiency Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides residential dishwasher efficiency levels and product specification information on its ENERGY STAR website. Manufacturers meeting these requirements are allowed to display the ENERGY STAR label on complying models. Get a list of ENERGY STAR-certified residential dishwashers.

Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save $56 or More by Buying Energy Star

FEMP has calculated that the required ENERGY STAR-qualified residential dishwasher saves money if priced no more than $56 (in 2018 dollars) above the less efficient model. The best available model saves up to $127.* Table 1 compares three types of product purchases and calculates the lifetime cost savings of purchasing efficient models. Federal purchasers can assume products that meet ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective.

Table 1. Lifetime Savings for Efficient Residential Dishwasher Models
PerformanceBest AvailableENERGY STARLess Efficient
Annual Energy Use (kWh)199270307
Annual Energy Cost$17$24$27
Water Use per Cycle (gal)
Annual Water Use (gal)7537531,075
Annual Water Cost$4$4$5
Annual Energy & Water Cost$21$27$32
Lifetime Energy & Water Cost$243$313$369
Lifetime Energy & Water Cost Savings$127*$56======

*The Lifetime Energy and Water Cost Savings number is rounded up; it is not in error.

View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 1

Performance Column

Annual Energy Use: Based on ENERGY STAR values and the test method referenced in 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix C for a standard residential dishwasher and hot water supplied by an electric resistance water heater, listed in kilowatt-hours.

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.09/kWh, which is the average electricity price at federal facilities throughout the United States. Learn more about Federal Government Energy/Water Use and Emissions.

Water Use per Cycle: Based on ENERGY STAR values and the test method referenced in 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix C1, listed in gallons.

Annual Water Use: Calculated based on an assumed 215 cycles per year, listed in gallons.

Annual Energy & Water Cost: Calculated based on a combined water and sewer rate of $4.80 per 1,000 gallons, which is the average water and sewer rate at federal facilities throughout the United States. Learn more about Federal Government Energy/Water Use and Emissions.

Lifetime Energy & Water Cost: Calculated as the sum of the discounted value of the annual energy and water cost over the assumed product life of 15.4 years, from DOE's Technical Support Document, Energy Efficiency Standards for Consumer Products: Residential Dishwashers (EERE-2014-BT-STD-0021-0005). Future utility price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis–2019: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 (NISTIR 85-3273-34).

Lifetime Cost Savings: The difference between the lifetime energy cost of the less efficient model and the lifetime energy cost of the ENERGY STAR model or best available model.

Best Available Model Column

Calculated based on the December 2019 ENERGY STAR List of Qualified Products; values shown are rounded to the nearest dollar. More efficient models may be introduced to the market after FEMP's acquisition guidance is posted.

Energy Star Model Column

Calculated based on December 2019 ENERGY STAR efficiency levels; values shown are rounded to the nearest dollar. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR efficiency levels.

Less Efficient Model Column

Calculated based on typical products used in non-federal applications.

Determine When ENERGY STAR Products Are Cost-Effective

An efficient product is cost-effective when the lifetime energy savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product, discounted to present value) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option. ENERGY STAR considers up-front costs and lifetime energy savings when setting required efficiency levels. Federal purchasers can assume ENERGY STAR-qualified products and products that meet FEMP-designated efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective. In high-use applications or when energy rates are above the federal average, purchasers may save more if they specify products that exceed federal efficiency requirements (e.g., the best available model).

Claim an Exception to Federal Purchasing Requirements

Products meeting ENERGY STAR or FEMP-designated efficiency requirements may not be life cycle cost-effective in certain low-use applications or in locations with very low rates for electricity or natural gas. However, for most applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life cycle cost.

Agencies may claim an exception to federal purchasing requirements through a written finding that no FEMP-designated or ENERGY STAR-qualified product is available to meet functional requirements, or that no such product is life cycle cost-effective for the specific application. Learn more about federal product purchasing requirements.

Incorporate Federal Acquisition Regulation Language in Contracts

These mandatory requirements apply to all forms of procurement, including construction guide and project specifications; renovation, repair, energy service, and operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts; lease agreements; acquisitions made using purchase cards; and solicitations for offers. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23.206 requires agencies to insert the clause at FAR section 52.223-15 into contracts and solicitations that deliver, acquire, furnish, or specify energy-consuming products for use in federal government facilities. To comply with FAR requirements, FEMP recommends that agencies incorporate efficiency requirements into technical specifications, the evaluation criteria of solicitations, and the evaluations of solicitation responses.

Find Federal Supply Sources

The federal supply sources for energy-efficient products are the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). GSA sells products through its Multiple Awards Schedules program and online shopping network, GSA Advantage!. DLA offers products through the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and online through FedMall (formerly DOD EMALL). Products sold through DLA are codified with a 13-digit National Stock Number (NSN) and, in some cases, a two-letter Environmental Attribute Code (ENAC). The ENAC identifies items that have positive environmental characteristics and meet standards set by an approved third party, such as FEMP and ENERGY STAR.

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is a worldwide classification system for e-commerce. It contains more than 50,000 commodities, including many used in the federal sector, each with a unique eight-digit, four-level identification code. Manufacturers and vendors are beginning to adopt the UNSPSC classification convention and electronic procurement systems are beginning to include UNSPSC tracking in their software packages. UNSPSCs can help the federal acquisition community identify product categories covered by sustainable acquisition requirements, track purchases of products within those categories, and report on progress toward meeting sustainable acquisition goals. FEMP has developed a table of ENERGY STAR and FEMP-designated covered product categories and related UNSPSC numbers.

Residential Dishwasher Schedules and Product Codes

GSA offers residential dishwashers through Schedule 51V (Hardware Superstore).

The DLA ENAC for residential dishwasher models is "LL".

The UNSPSC for residential dishwashers is 52141505.

Buyer Tips: Make Informed Product Purchases

ENERGY STAR-qualified residential dishwashers save water in addition to energy. In areas experiencing severe drought conditions, consider replacing older dishwashers with water conserving ENERGY STAR models.

Many federal office buildings have kitchen areas equipped with dishwashers. These requirements apply when residential dishwashers are used in these situations.

Some utilities offer rebates or other incentives for the purchase of ENERGY STAR-qualified products. Use the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder to see if your local utility offers these incentives.

User Tips: Use Products More Efficiently

Dishwashers require the hottest water of all household uses, typically 135° Fahrenheit (F) to 140°F. However, these products are usually equipped with booster heaters to raise incoming water temperature by 15°F to 20°F. Setting the water heater between 120°F and 125°F and turning the dishwasher's booster on will provide sufficiently hot water while saving energy and also reducing the chances for scalding. Set dishwashers to "Air Dry" to save additional energy during the drying cycle.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provided supporting analysis for this acquisition guidance.