The Department of Energy is currently taking public comment on a proposal to create a class of dishwashers that will cycle in under an hour. This initiative, inspired by our good friends at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is a good one — and we’re glad to see it finally get to the top of DOE’s plate stack.

CFACT has also weighed in with its support of this initiative, which you can read here.

In truth, dishwashers in the 1970’s used to routinely complete their dirty work all short and sweet. Today, however, dishwashers typically require an average two hours and 20 minutes just to complete a normal wash-dry cycle — over twice as long.

A recent GE survey of 11,000 dishwasher owners reports that having to wait for hours for dishes to be done is a major consumer annoyance. In addition, today’s machines often fail to clean off all of your supper’s yucky mess, making it much more of a health concern.

How did we get here? As senior policy analyst Bonner Cohen, who wrote CFACT’s DOE comments, points out:

This state of affairs has arisen as a result of energy efficiency standards designed to reduce the use of both electricity and water. But those standards have had the exact opposite effect. So poorly do today’s dishwashers perform that they actually lead to higher use of electricity and water because people must sometimes run the machines twice in order to get clean dishes. Furthermore, the current standards are clearly regressive, because they result in higher power and water bills, which disproportionately affect the disposable income of lower-earning families.

In short, bad policy led to bad dishwashers. Therefore it’s time to hit the reset button. It’s time to go “back to the future” — to return to the type of quality and convenience we used to enjoy.

It’s time to make dishwashers great again.

You too can weigh in with your public comment to ensure we have

better dishwashers by sending an email to [email protected].


  • CFACT -- We're freedom people.

  • Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.