The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated in the Annual Energy Outlook 2020 that about 1,410 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity were used by the residential sector in the United States in 2019.
The top five biggest electricity users in your home are the following:
Number one on the list comes as no surprise. Anyone who has even been in the dead of summer with a broken air conditioner and a wet cloth wrapped around their neck knows: cooling your home is worth the expense.
With that being said, there are ways to keep your power bill low. Instead of blasting the air conditioner (and blowing your electricity bills through the roof), you can take simple actions to beat the heat and the electric bill.
Implementing ventilation systems throughout your home is a good place to start. Not only do solar attic fans and crawl space ventilation systems remove heat to keep you cool, they prevent moisture buildup, which can run rampant on your home.
Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. The biggest users of hot water are the clothes washer, shower, and dishwasher. To conserve hot water, you can fix leaks, install low-flow fixtures, and purchase an energy-efficient dishwasher and clothes washer.
If you have an old hot water heater, you may be able to squeeze a few more years out of it and improve its overall efficiency by installing a hot water heater wrap.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2019, residential lighting consumption was about 129 billion kWh or about 9% of total residential sector electricity consumption.
Have you switched out all of your old incandescent bulbs? If not, you should. Energy Star qualified LED lighting products use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting and lasts 35 to 50 times longer.
Did you know that an older refrigerator uses nearly twice as much energy as a new Energy Star refrigerator? In addition, you can save more than $270 over the next five years and reduce your carbon footprint by 3,600 pounds when replacing an older refrigerator with one that’s earned the Energy Star.
Make sure that your home is sealed and insulated properly to reduce heating costs. Sealing cracks and common leak areas in the home, such as your attic, can prevent the heat that you pay for from escaping outside. There’s no need to pay for the snow to melt–that’s why they make rock salt and snow blowers!
In addition to preventing heat from escaping, sealing and insulating helps stop the cool air outside during the winter from invading your home. This all results in you cranking up the heat a little less.
Other notable consumption culprits include televisions and related equipment, clothes dryers, and cooking.