Electricity is generally measured in kilowatt hours, abbreviated to kWh. According to Indexmundi, 3873 billion kWh of electricity was consumed in the US in 2011.
The EIA reports that the average consumption of electricity per household was 11280 kWh per year. This works out to an average of 940 kWh per month. With electricity costing around 11 cents per kWh (energy.gov) this translates to a total of 103.4 USD a month or 1240.8 USD a year.
At this moment you’re probably running some numbers trying to establish if your consumption is above or below this. Understandably a sizable amount of consumption can be attributed to lighting our homes.
But what else is responsible for driving up the resulting figure you see on our power bills at the end of the month?
The short answer: Appliances. The many time saving and sometimes essential gadgets that you use to make your life a little easier actually do end up costing more than what’s printed on the price tag.
Here are the culprits, 3 of the most power hunger appliances that every household contains:
Before we start, take note of the following:
Power efficiency of many appliances has improved greatly over the years. As a result, modern appliances consume considerably less than their previously state of the art counterparts. For example a modern fridge may use 400 – 600 kWh of electricity each year, whereas an older fridge could use into the thousands.
The power consumption per day was calculated using this formula: (Wattage — Hours Used per Day) · 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption
1.) The Fridge:
Cycles periodically, drawing power to keep the temperature consistent – when you open the door to decide what to eat, which let’s be honest, happens plenty.
The average fridge has wattage of 700 and is typically (unless something goes wrong with it) on all day.This translates to 17.4 kWh of power per day, which at 11 cents per kWh is approximately 2 USD a day or 62 USD a month.
Ah the dishwasher that most necessary of appliances that, since the 1920 has helped to eliminate one of the most hated of chores; washing dishes. One way to reduce this power thief’s consumption is to let the dishes, crockery and other homeware air dry once they’ve been washed, as opposed to using the dishwashers built in drying function.
A 2400 watt dishwasher used for 2 hours a day, works out to 0.53c a day or 16.43 USD a month.
3.) Clothes dryer:
Here’s an interesting fact – modern clothing dryers are considered so inefficient that they’re unable to earn the Energy Star Compliance stamp of approval. I’m sure you’ve seen this with computers when your monitor turns on initially. While clothing washers and dryers aren’t on indefinitely, they’re still used often enough to earn the status of power hogs.
Using a 2000 watt clothing dryer for 2 hours a day works out to 0.44c day or 13.64 USD a month.
In truth you don’t often question our electricity bill unless consumption (and cost) suddenly goes through the roof. There are ways you can reduce consumption without compromising on comfort too much.