Approximately 8 million dishwashers are sold each year in the EU, with an annual electricity consumption of around 25 TWh, roughly the same as the residential electricity consumption of the Netherlands.  

This corresponds to 11 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, making this product group a significant one. About 60% of the energy used by a dishwasher goes into heating water, so models that use less water save energy. 

What’s the European Union doing?

Ecodesign regulations and energy labelling for domestic dishwashers entered into force in December 2010. Additional requirements tightening the regulations on smaller dishwashers entered into force in 2013, and further improvements will come into effect in December 2016.

Ecodesign and energy labelling parameters are currently being reviewed. A preparatory study under the lead of the Commission’s Joint Research Center started in 2014 and is expected to be finalised in 2016.

What does the Coolproducts campaign want?

  • Ecodesign requirements should more closely reflect everyday product use. The current label and Ecodesign measures are based on the ‘ecoprogramme’, which is estimated to only be used in around 20-25% of the cases. However, when a consumer buys an A dishwasher, he expects all the programmes to be A. That’s why Coolproducts believe that the most used programmes should be tested to assess the dishwashers’ performance.
  • In general, the longer the programme lasts, the more energy efficient it is. If you let your dirty dishes for a long time in water, doesn’t it become much easier to clean? To obtain better results, manufacturers have had the tendency to increase the programmes duration, some of them becoming far too long for the consumer’s needs. Therefore, we believe that consumers should know the time duration of the most used programmes before buying their appliance, by displaying the programme time on the label for example. A time restriction of 2 hours could also be considered.
  • Coolproducts sees the current legislation review as the perfect opportunity to also fight obstacles to repairability, and promote durability of products

 Coolproducts' technical input and position papers:

2018 - Position on domestic dishwashers proposals

2016 - Technical input on resource efficiency options

2015 - Input to tasks 5-7 of the preparatory study in the review of Household Dishwashers’ regulations

2015 - Input to tasks 1-4 of the preparatory study in the review of Household Dishwashers’ regulations

2015 - Proposals on material efficiency and end-of-life requirements

2010 - Contribution to the European Commission working document