How Many Kilowatts Per Hour Does A House Use?

Knowing how much electricity the average household uses is important for several reasons. First, it allows homeowners to benchmark their usage and see if they are above or below average. Conserving electricity not only saves money, it reduces your carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Understanding typical household electricity consumption also helps when shopping for the right utility plan. Electricity providers determine your rate based on how much energy they estimate you will use per month. If your actual usage is much higher or lower than average, you may end up paying more than necessary.

Finally, being aware of how much electricity you use empowers you to take steps to be more efficient. Simple behavioral changes, installing efficient appliances, or leveraging smart home technology can help curtail waste and reduce your energy bills.

Average Household Electricity Usage

The average U.S. household consumes about 893 kWh per month. This equates to around 10,712 kWh per year. However, electricity usage can vary widely depending on location, home size, number of residents, appliances, and conservation habits.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average monthly electricity consumption by U.S. homes is as follows:

  • South – 1,268 kWh
  • Midwest – 867 kWh
  • Northeast – 673 kWh
  • West – 614 kWh

Additionally, electricity usage tends to be higher in larger homes. An EIA survey found the following average monthly usage based on home size:

  • Under 1,000 square feet – 658 kWh
  • 1,000 to 1,999 square feet – 893 kWh
  • 2,000 to 2,999 square feet – 1,058 kWh
  • Over 3,000 square feet – 1,331 kWh

larger homes use more electricity.

So while the typical U.S. home uses 893 kWh per month or 10,712 kWh per year, usage can vary significantly based on region, home size, and other factors.

Factors That Impact Usage

There are a number of key factors that determine how much electricity a household uses:

House size – Larger homes with more rooms and square footage require more electricity to power lighting, heating, cooling, and appliances. The size of the home is directly correlated to energy use.

Number of residents – Households with more people will use more electricity powering more lights, electronics, appliances, etc. The number of occupants impacts overall electricity consumption.

Climate/weather – Homes located in extreme cold or hot climates require more energy for heating and cooling. Colder regions use more electricity in winter to heat homes while warmer regions use more electricity for air conditioning in summer.

Appliances and electronics – The types and number of appliances and devices in a home has a significant impact. Homes with large appliances like multiple refrigerators or freezers, pools and hot tubs will consume more electricity.

Appliances That Use the Most Electricity

When examining household electricity usage, it’s important to look at which appliances and electronics use the most energy. The major energy hogs in most homes are:

  • Air Conditioning – Air conditioning accounts for nearly 15% of an average home’s electricity use. Central AC units can consume 3,000-5,000 watts. Keeping the temperature only a few degrees higher can dramatically reduce AC energy use.
  • Water Heater – Water heating accounts for 14% of home energy use. Standard electric water heaters with storage tanks use 4,500-5,500 watts. Setting the temperature lower, using heat pumps or solar water heating can help reduce electricity usage.
  • Clothes Dryer – Clothes dryers use up to 5,000 watts of power. Air drying clothes naturally saves electricity. Using moisture sensors and lower heat settings can also minimize energy use.
  • Refrigerator – The refrigerator is on 24/7 and uses 500-700 watts. Choosing an Energy Star certified model can cut energy use significantly.
  • Dishwasher – Dishwashers consume 1,200-2,400 watts. Using short cycles without heat drying dishes helps reduce electricity usage.

Focusing on efficient models and optimizing usage of these major appliances provides the best opportunities to reduce overall home electricity consumption.

Tips For Conserving Electricity

There are many simple ways to reduce your electricity usage and lower your utility bills. Here are some tips for conserving electricity in your home:

Turn Off Lights When Not in Use

Flip the light switch when you leave a room. Install motion sensor lights outdoors and in seldom used rooms. Use natural lighting whenever possible.

Lower the Thermostat

Lower your thermostat by just a couple degrees in the winter and raise it a couple degrees in the summer to save electricity. Wear extra layers in the winter and fewer layers in summer to stay comfortable.

Unplug Devices When Not in Use

Laptop and phone chargers, gaming consoles and other electronics use electricity even when turned off. Unplug devices when not in use to avoid “vampire” energy loss.

Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to set back the temperature at night and when away from home to save energy. Smart thermostats learn your schedule and make adjustments automatically.

Upgrade Light Bulbs

Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs which use at least 75% less energy. They also last much longer, saving you money.

Wash Clothes in Cold Water

90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes to heating the water. Wash clothes in cold water to save electricity.

Use Appliances Efficiently

Only run dishwasher and washing machine when fully loaded. Use stove fans when cooking to reduce AC load. Microwave when possible.

Upgrade Old Appliances

New ENERGY STAR certified appliances are far more energy efficient. Prioritize upgrading old refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines.

With some simple changes, you can reduce your home’s electricity usage and your utility bills. The environment and your wallet will thank you.

Using Solar Panels

Installing solar panels on your home can significantly reduce the amount of electricity pulled from the grid. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, feeding excess energy back into the grid during the day and pulling from the grid at night. This allows homes with solar power to greatly reduce their net electricity usage over a month.

The amount of electricity generated by solar panels depends on several factors like your location, roof size, and the efficiency of the solar panels. On average, a 5 kilowatt solar system in the U.S. can produce about 6,000 to 8,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. For a household that uses around 10,000 kilowatt hours per year, going solar could eliminate 60-80% of grid electricity usage.

Some key benefits of going solar for your home:

  • Lower electricity bills since you’ll rely less on the grid
  • Potential tax rebates and incentives to offset system costs
  • Clean energy that reduces your carbon footprint
  • Increased home value by adding an electricity generating asset

With the falling prices of solar panels and batteries, going solar is becoming an increasingly cost-effective way for homes to take control of their energy production and usage.

Electric Vehicles and Charging

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as an eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered cars. Charging an EV at home can have a significant impact on your electricity usage.

Most EVs have batteries that can hold between 50-100 kWh of energy. It takes about 30 kWh to fully charge a Tesla Model 3 Long Range, for example. Charging an EV battery from empty to full is equivalent to the average daily electricity usage of an entire household.

Charging an EV will add about 3,000-6,000 kWh per year to your electricity usage if you are charging daily. This is about 2-4 times more than major appliances like refrigerators and AC units use on an annual basis.

There are ways to mitigate the electricity load of EV charging. Many power companies offer special EV charging rates at night when overall demand is lower. Smart chargers can also help by charging when electricity rates are cheapest. Slow charging an EV over many hours can also help smooth out electricity demand.

While charging an EV does significantly increase home electricity usage, EVs are still much cheaper to fuel up than gas cars in most cases. The environmental benefits are also substantial.

Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology refers to devices and appliances that are connected to the internet and can be controlled remotely. This includes things like smart thermostats, smart lights, smart locks, video doorbells, security cameras, voice assistants, and more. The rise of smart home tech has made it easier for homeowners to monitor and control their energy usage.

Smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee allow you to set schedules and program temperature changes via an app on your phone. This ensures the heating and cooling system isn’t running when not needed, saving energy. Smart thermostats can also learn your habits and adjust the temperature automatically to maximize efficiency.

Smart plugs and lightbulbs allow you to turn devices on and off remotely via an app or voice control. This makes it easy to make sure lights and appliances aren’t using power when not in use. Smart lights like Philips Hue have scheduling features to turn lights on and off at certain times, which can cut down on wasted energy.

In general, smart home tech gives homeowners greater visibility into their energy use and more ways to optimize it. Features like usage monitoring, scheduling, and automation can lead to reduced energy waste and lower electricity bills over time. The catch is that you need to actually use the tech – simply having it isn’t enough to guarantee savings. But smart home devices have significant potential to cut your household’s power consumption.

Comparing Electricity Plans

With electricity prices constantly fluctuating, it pays to shop around for the best rate. Comparing different electricity plans is one of the easiest ways to reduce your utility bills. There are two main types of electricity plans to choose from: fixed rate and variable rate.

Fixed rate plans lock in a set price per kWh for the duration of your contract, usually 6 months to 3 years. This protects you against increasing rates. The tradeoff is that you won’t benefit if rates decrease. Variable rate plans fluctuate based on the wholesale electricity market. Rates could go up or down from month to month. Variable plans allow you to take advantage of falling rates, but you run the risk of prices spiking during high-demand periods.

When comparing plans, look at the average price per kWh. Also consider if there are monthly fees, cancellation penalties, or other charges. Read the fine print to understand exactly what is covered. Pay attention to renewable energy options as well. The right electricity plan can help manage your home’s power costs.


In summary, understanding how much electricity your home uses and what impacts your usage can help you manage costs and conserve energy. The average U.S. household uses 893-900 kWh per month. Usage depends on your appliances, home size and insulation, thermostat settings, occupants, location, and weather. Household appliances like refrigerators, water heaters, and A/C units are the largest electricity consumers. Simple tips like unplugging devices, using power-efficient appliances, and installing a programmable thermostat can reduce usage. Solar panels or smarter home devices can also help offset usage. Comparing electricity plans to find competitive rates that fit your usage is recommended. Overall, being aware of your electricity consumption and taking steps to reduce unneeded use is key for both lowering bills and helping the environment.

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