WITH energy bills soaring, you might want to halt one dishwasher habit.
The average families' bill stands at £2,500 a year despite the government's energy price guarantee discount.
This is set to rise to £3,000 from April.
But there are a number of ways you can cut back on costs, and some are pretty easy too.
You might not think it, but pre-rinsing your dishes and cutlery before stacking them in the dishwasher can add to your bills unnecessarily.
Kevin Pratt, energy expert from Forbes Advisor UK, said it can do this in two ways.
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"Rinsing dishes has two potential costs – energy to heat the water, and the water itself, although running the taps will only register if you have a water meter," he said.
Beyond just putting your dishes and cutlery into the dishwasher straight away, you can mitigate these extra costs in one other way.
Kevin added: "The most efficient way would be to use a bowl of cold water to rinse the plates."
Cutting out this habit could save you around £1 on your bills every year, Forbes Advisor UK said.
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How else can you cut dishwasher costs?
Beyond avoiding pre-rinsing dishes, there are other ways to save money when using your dishwasher.
You should ideally wait for a full load, as the appliance will be at its most efficient when at capacity.
Figures from Magnet, that sells kitchen appliances, previously told The Sun halving your number of dishwasher cycles could save you around £196 a year.
If you have the budget, you could invest in a newer and more energy-efficient dishwasher.
Older dishwashers tend to be more expensive to run as they're less energy efficient.
A new energy ranking system was introduced in March 2021 to help homeowners determine the most efficient appliances to buy.
Appliances are ranked alphabetically from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient, and G being the least.
So it might be worth opting for a dishwasher as close to an A rating as possible.
Which? estimates that an energy efficient dishwasher can save you around £544 over a 10-year period.
But note that a new A-rated dishwasher could cost you roughly £250, or even more, so it could take a few years to make your money back.
What other energy bill help can I get?
A number of energy providers are taking part in the "demand flexibility service", which sees customers paid to turn off their appliances at certain times.
The scheme has been drawn up by the National Grid ESO and is designed to reduce pressure on the energy network and prevent blackouts.
The National Grid ESO ran its first "live service" on January 23.
A number of energy providers are signed up to the service – you should get in touch with yours to see if they are.
Plus, millions of households should be in the process of receiving a £400 energy rebate.
The discount has been split into six monthly instalments which started last October. All six should be paid by March.
On top of this, you might get help via the Household Support Fund.
The latest £421 million pot has been shared between local councils but what you are entitled to will depend on where you live.
Usually, the help is given to households on a low income or benefits.
If you think you might be eligible, you should contact your local council.
You can find out who your local council is by using the government's "find my local council" tool.
A number of energy providers offer grants to customers who can't pay their bills.
This includes British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power and Octopus Energy.
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British Gas' scheme pays out a maximum £1,500 to customers who are really struggling.
You can get help if you're not a customer too.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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