So I came across this great little clip today hosted on dailymotion by Real World Green that talks about how your dishwasher actually uses far less energy than your dishwasher.
Some good points to take note of are that using your dishwasher instead of your hands and sink actually uses half the energy and a sixth the water. I was always under the assumption that hand washing was the better way but I have been schooled.
Replace your dishwasher if it is more than 10 years old, do not rinse your dishes before putting them in the washer, run only when the washer is full, use air dry rather than heat dry and last but not least use biodegradable and phosphate free detergent.
Check out the video below, it is only a few minutes long and will save you time, money and energy.