Question: Should I buy a high-efficiency dishwasher for my restaurant kitchen? They cost more than standard models—is it worth the extra money?

Answer: Probably more than any other appliance, the answer to this question is a resounding YES.

Dishwashers are one of the biggest consumers of energy in a commercial kitchen, often taking up to two-thirds of an establishment’s total water use. Since the average life of a commercial dishwasher is 20-25 years, investing in a high-efficiency replacement model is definitely worth the extra up-front cost, saving you approximately 25% on your water bills and 30% on your overall energy costs.

According to Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, replacing a standard high-temperature door-type dishwasher with a high-efficiency model can save more than $5,100 per year, with a payback period of only eight months.

Follow these tips to get your high-efficiency dishwasher working as effectively and efficiently as possible:

  • Only wash full racks. You pay to heat the water regardless—you might as well wash as much as possible.
  • If you have a high-temperature dishwasher, turn it off at night, or the booster heater will continue to draw power.
  • Make sure not to over-dry dishes—adjust the dryer to operate just long enough to dry each load.
  • Keep your heater coils and hot water tanks clear of lime scale.
  • Set the water heater temperature to the minimum effective temperature, depending on whether you have a high- or low-temperature unit.
  • Consider installing a grey-water heat recovery unit, where the heat from wastewater is used to pre-heat incoming water. This reduces the amount that your water heater has to work, saving you money.

If you’re considering installing a high efficiency dishwasher, take a look at our energy efficiency rebates page. There, you’ll find valuable incentives and rebates on a variety of high-efficiency dishwasher models.