PURPOSE The objective of this study was two-fold: (a) to test a new approach to approximating organ dose by using the effective energy of the combined 80kV/140kV beam in dual-energy (DE) computed tomography (CT), and (b) to derive the effective dose (ED) in the abdomen-pelvis protocol in DECT. METHODS A commercial dual energy CT scanner was employed using a fast-kV switch abdomen/pelvis protocol alternating between 80 kV and 140 kV. MOSFET detectors were used for organ dose measurements. First, an experimental validation of the dose equivalency between MOSFET and ion chamber (as a gold standard) was performed using a CTDI phantom. Second, the ED of DECT scans was measured using MOSFET detectors and an anthropomorphic phantom. For ED calculations, an abdomen/pelvis scan was used using ICRP 103 tissue weighting factors; ED was also computed using the AAPM Dose Length Product (DLP) method and compared to the MOSFET value. RESULTS The effective energy was determined as 42.9 kV under the combined beam from half-value layer (HVL) measurement. ED for the dual-energy scan was calculated as 16.49 ± 0.04 mSv by the MOSFET method and 14.62 mSv by the DLP method. CONCLUSION Tissue dose in the center of the CTDI body phantom was 1.71 ± 0.01 cGy (ion chamber) and 1.71 ± 0.06 (MOSFET) respectively; this validated the use of effective energy method for organ dose estimation. ED from the abdomen-pelvis scan was calculated as 16.49 ± 0.04 mSv by MOSFET and 14.62 mSv by the DLP method; this suggests that the DLP method provides a reasonable approximation to the ED.