Tell the Energy Department What You Think about Your Dishwasher


Thirty-five years ago, dishwashers cleaned dishes in about an hour. Sadly today, due to federal government regulations, there are no dishwashers that do so. This isn’t progress—it’s the failure of government to allow consumer choice.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to change these regulations, and they are currently considering doing so! Thanks to CEI’s petition, the DOE opened a public comment period to decide if the regulations should be changed.

>> Tell the Energy Department what you think; submit your comments by June 25, 2018 at

Federal regulators have been so focused on forcing people to decrease energy usage that they have lost sight of the other features that Americans value. Even the DOE now recognizes that because of their regulations, manufacturers “typically increase the cycle time.” The DOE is required by law to make sure that such features continue to be options for consumers, but has failed to do so.

Due to the increase in cycle times many consumers have complained. Here are just a few examples:

  • “The cycles run FOREVER – Plan on letting it run all afternoon before your dishes are ready so you can use them for dinner!!”
  • “It doesn’t clean well, but has a very long cycle, well over two hours.”
  • One consumer described a cycle time of one and a half hours as “extremely long,” but sadly this is the shortest cycle time on the market.
  • “The cycle time is way too long, running for 4 hours and still not cleaning the dishes. I am currently in the process of hand washing a number of dishes that did not clean in last night’s 4-hour cycle.”
  • “It spontaneously starts beeping, non-stop, the cycle takes FOREVER. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.”
  • When one consumer called a technician to complain of a 4.5 hour cycle time, she was told that the new machines just take longer than the old ones.

Dishwashers are just one of many consumer appliances harmed by federal regulations. Traditional incandescent light bulbs are banned by federal regulations in favor of compact fluorescent bulbs that contain mercury, have worse color rendering, and cost three to 10 times as much. Traditional top-loading clothes washers with a central agitator are banned in favor of front-loading washers that cost twice as much and some of which, according to Consumer Reports, leave clothes “nearly as dirty as they were before washing.”

It is time to stop these irresponsible actions and restore the quality of dishwashers that have been reduced by federal regulations. There is no reason DOE cannot add a new category that would take no more than an hour to complete cleaning and drying dishes. This would restore Americans’ choice to buy the product they want, while those who like their dishwasher as it is, would be able to still purchase them.

It is time to start reversing the damage that federal regulations have done. If you wish to have faster dishwashers, unconstrained by unneeded burdensome regulations, please submit a comment to the DOE.

>> Submit your comments about the need for faster dishwashers by June 25 here: Just a sentence or two about the need for faster dishwashers can help persuade the agency.