Okay, let’s start with a simple energy user statistic:
Only 1 in 3 energy consumers study their bill to understand their energy usage (via Energy Live News).
We know that an educated energy consumer is better able to control their costs and usage, so if you’re one of the 2 out of 3 people who pays their bill without a second thought, this post—along with 3 Parts to Understanding Your Utility Bill—is a great resource to get you started toward better energy use.
How Much Power Does Your Appliance Use?
Energy usage is measured by kilowatt-hours (symbolized kWh). This is a unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt (1 kW) of power expended for one hour. While everyone needs electricity for daily activities, the majority of people aren’t aware that many small household appliances often use much more energy than even some of the larger appliances.
The Most Popular Household Energy Use Sources
These appliances, ranked from highest kWh’s to lowest, are the most power-hungry appliances for the average household:
- Water heater – 4.5 to 5.5 kWh
- Clothes dryer – 1.8 to 5.0 kWh
- Dishwasher – 1.2 to 2.4 kWh
- Hair dryer – 1.2 to 1.8 kWh
- Clothes iron – 1.0 to 1.8 kWh
- Toaster- 0.8 to 1.4 kWh
- Coffee maker – 0.9 to 1.2 kWh
While these appliances use less energy, relative to their size:
- 36″ Television – 1.33 kWh
- Desktop – 0.60 to 2.50 kWh
- Window fan – 0.55 to 2.50 kWh
Data gathered by the Energy Information Administration suggests that the average U.S. household uses 11,280 kWh per year, which is roughly 940 kWh per month. The monthly energy usage is on your household electric bill and makes it easy to compare your usage to the national average. (But remember, usage differs per season, so you’ll need to take that into account.)
Recent Changes in Energy Consumption:
In past years, the majority of U.S. households used the greatest amount of their energy for heating. Recently this trend has changed. Now, the majority is spending roughly 35% of their energy consumption on appliances, electronics, and lighting. Another 18% is spent on water heating, while air conditioning accounts for a mere 6%.
How to take control of your energy costs:
Are you surprised to learn that your shower uses more energy than your refrigerator or washing machine? Using energy efficient appliances and making a few small changes can make a huge difference in your monthly energy consumption. Lowering your energy consumption not only reduces monthly energy costs, but also diminishes your carbon footprint.
Another way to take control of your energy costs is by fixing in your rate with an energy supplier. Without a locked in rate, your energy prices are subject to fluctuation from month to month. By locking in your electric or natural gas price, you can avoid any potential price fluctuations over the course of your contract.