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  • Energy use in your home

    Energy use in your home

    Energy use in your home

    Energy use in your home

    Have you ever wondered how much energy your home uses? Or how you can save energy at home? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll go over what devices and appliances use the most energy and some easy ways to save on your electricity bill. Don’t worry, transforming your home from an energy hog to a lean, mean energy-efficient machine is easier than you think. With a few quick fixes and some small changes to daily habits, you can conserve lots of energy and save money.

    Let’s start with what uses the most electricity in your home — the air conditioner and heater. Heating and cooling account for a whopping 25% of your home’s electricity consumption. Using a programmable thermostat, setting your thermostat fan to “auto” and getting routine HVAC inspections can all help reduce the amount of energy used.

    Another 25% of energy consumption comes from your water heater, lights and refrigerator. Is your water heater set to the Department of Energy recommended temperature of 120°? Are you guilty of forgetting to turn off the lights when you leave? Do you often stand in front of an open fridge? If so, you’re wasting energy and your hard-earned money. Consider this: 25% energy consumption is the same as 25% of your electricity bill. Thinking about energy with tangible, monetary terms can help you become more energy efficient in your daily life.

    2018 Home Electricity Consumption

    2018 home electricity consumption donut chart
    2018 home electricity consumption donut legend

    For a more in-depth understanding of how your home uses energy, check out the chart below. Many devices continue to draw small amounts of electricity even they aren’t in use. Although these appliances and devices may not require much power individually, collectively they can suck tons of energy out of your home — costing you money. By making sure that these items are completely turned off when not in use, you can greatly increase your home’s energy efficiency. Furthermore, be mindful of how much energy different items use. Maybe next time, avoid the hairdryer and use a towel. Even little changes like this will deliver amazing results over time.

    Power consumption and cost of various home appliances and devices

    Appliance / Device Power Consumption (W) Annual Consumption Annual Cost Savings with 50% <

    On Idle Off (kWh/yr)
    Digital TVs, ED/HD TC, >40" 234 6 0 455 $43.68 $21.84
    Analog TVs, >40" 156 12 0 312 $29.95 $14.98
    Digital TVs, ED/HD TC, <40" 150 6 0 301 $28.90 $14.45
    Analog TVs, <40" 86 12 0 184 $17.66 $8.83
    Desktop PCs 75 4 2 237 $22.75 $11.38
    Set-top Boxes 20 0 20 178 $17.09 $8.54
    Stereo Systems 33 30 3 119 $11.42 $5.71
    Desktop Monitors 84 2 0 167 $8.20 $4.10
    DVD/VCR 17 13 3 78 $7.49 $3.74
    Notebook PCs 25 2 2 72 $6.91 $3.46
    Video Game Systems 36 36 1 41 $3.94 $1.97
    Torchiere Lamp-Halogen 300 0 0 440 $42.05 $21.02
    100-W Incandescent Lamp 100 0 0 70 $6.45 $3.22
    60-W Incandescent Lamp 60 0 0 40 $3.87 $1.93
    18-W Compact Fluorescent 18 0 0 20 $2.06 $1.03
    Dehumidifier 600 0 0 970 $93.31 $46.66
    Space Heater 1,320 1 0 314 $30.13 $15.07
    Ceiling Fan 35 0 0 81 $7.80 $3.90
    Coffee Maker 1,000 70 0 58 $5.60 $2.80
    Rechargeable power tool 13 4 0 38 $3.60 $1.80
    Hair Dryerr 710 0 0 40 $3.40 $1.70
    Lawn sprinkler 11 0 0 32 $3.10 $1.55
    Totals 5,083 198 31 4,247 $399.36 $199.68

    Source: U.S. Department of Energy 2011 Buildings Energy Data Book, Section 2.1.16

    Always-on devices

    Always-on devices and appliances are those that use electricity even when they’re not in active use. This type of energy usage goes by several names including “idle load”, “baseload” and even “vampire power, because they suck electricity (and money from your wallet) by simply being plugged in. For example, if you put your computer on standby or sleep mode, or turn your TV off, they’re still drawing small amounts of power. That’s how they’re able to boot up or turn on so quickly.

    Check out the graphic below for all the always-on devices and appliances in your home.

    Always-on devices draining & wasting energy – Find the culprits

    desktop computer




    Cable box


    Audio visual

    Audio / Visual

    Coffee maker

    Coffee Maker









    Alarm clock

    Alarm Clock

    Game console

    Game Console

    Security system

    Security System

    Phone Charger Icon

    Mobile phone chargers that are plugged in when your phone is disconnected is consuming energy.

    Tips on how to reduce idle load usage in your household

    1. Unplug electronics, devices and chargers that are no longer being used or are rarely used.
    2. Plug electronics to a power strip so you can easily turn the power on and off.
    3. Power off your computer or put it in sleep mode.
    4. Disconnect mobile phones from chargers when they are fully charged and then unplug the phone chargers.
    5. Be sure to unplug devices during vacations or trips.


    Natural Resources Defense Council, Home Idle Load: Devices Wasting Huge Amounts of Electricity When Not in Active use - Issue Paper (PDF)

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Standby Power Summary Table

    U.S. Department of Energy, 4 Ways to Slay Vampire This Halloween

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