What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

What Are The Electrical Energy Users In Your House?

The question might better be put "who..." but you should ask yourself, what are the electrical energy users in your house?

We all have choices.  Sometimes we don't have a choice as regards energy, but in many ways we can choose to use energy or not.  We can save energy too. For example, we can try to replace older things with newer things.  Older things, and we'll get into this, typically use more energy than newer things.

What things?

Our electrical use is measured in terms of kilowatts.  A kilowatt is 1,000 watts per working hour.

Electrical things are absolutely necessary.  We all have them!

Sometimes electrical power used all the time, like your fridge for instance.  Other things only when we turn them on.  Then there are those things that continue to use energy even when turned "off."  Those are called Energy Vampires, and we'll talk about those later.

You can pick your poison when looking for energy-use pie charts.  I have this one on my website.  They vary somewhat.

These are the top six electric energy users found in most American houses, followed by their watt usage per hour.  The watt calculations for everything in this post come from General Electric.

1.  Electric furnace 17,221
2.  Central air conditioner 5,000
3.  Dryer 3,400
4.  Oven 2,300
5.  Dishwasher 800
6.  Water heater 479

But there are a multiplicity of electrical things we use in our houses every day!  This will vary from house to house, of course.  But as Americans our personal energy use grows every year.  How many computers and TVs did you have in your house 25 years ago, and how many do you have now?

Typically savings come from technological advancement.  That's what we do as Americans!  We make things more efficient!  As we do people can save money.  So it really does pay to get newer things, generally speaking.  Some new things use MORE energy!

Here is the wattage use for appliances most people will have in their houses:  hair dryer 1,538, coffee maker 1,500, microwave 1,500, iron 1,100, toaster 1,100, and vacuum cleaner 650, freezer 273.

Some electric users most people have but don't use so much wattage per hour include video games 195, DVR 33, cable TV box 20, DVD 17, wireless router 7 and cordless telephone 3.

Energy Star suggests that some electrical appliances are Energy-Use Vampires.

Basically these energy vampires include anything with a light that's on all the time!

The light indicates there is stand-by power being used.

I have them, you have them, we all have them!  A couple of things that most people might not consider would include the garage-door opener, satellite dish, smoke detectors and security systems.

Many of us consider those things to be necessary!  And much of the things we have that draw stand-by power we probably consider to be necessary too.

But, some vampires, like charging cords, can be unplugged.  And things plugged into power strips can be turned off.

What about old versus new?

Some new things save energy and some do not.  For example, an old refrigerator (older than 1995) can use as much as 1,400 watts per hour.  These are plugged in all the time, so they can be expensive.  My power company charges me $.09 per kilowatt, so that old fridge could cost me $1,226 per year in electricity!  A new fridge, by comparison, regular kitchen size, uses about 188 watts, and costs around $70 per year.  That is a DRAMATIC savings!  So, don't put that old fridge in the basement or garage!  It's better to donate it to a charitable organization and buy a new one - you will break even really quickly!

A 60 watt incandescent light bulb uses, oh, 60 watts per hour!  A CFL 60 watt equivalent about 18 watts.  There are drawbacks to switching, but in terms of pure energy the CFL will save power.

What new things use more energy?  Remember the stand-by light?  New, flat-screen TVs use huge amounts of energy compared to the older TVs.  An old TV used about 150 watts, and if turned on 5 hours a day would cost $27/year.  The new flat screens?  About 339 watts, for an annual cost of $62 for those same 5 hours!  How many do you have in your house?

That's why the stand-by appliances are called vampires!

Of course you're asking - my computer and printer are on a lot.  What does it cost me?

A tower computer uses about 150 watts, a monitor 150 and printer 50.  If they are on 8 hours a day together they're costing you about $90/year.  A laptop, by comparison, uses only 50 watts, so it saves a lot of electrical energy, costing only about $15/year.

My power company has an energy-use calculator.  Yours might too.  Just plug in your kilowatt charge, look up the watt usage of the electrical appliance, and figure it out!

My recommendation:  we are all managers.  We manage ourselves, our homes and our lives.  In terms of energy use we can all be better managers!  And after all, no one reaps the savings for smarter energy use but us!  That's ALL of us!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 39 commentsJay Markanich • September 13 2013 03:01AM

Comments

Don't need the central air and hang out the laundry three seasons, use a rack for those jeans, to save dryer time in the winter. Just being energy independent helps the wallet have money for the fun stuff.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 5 years ago

Yesterday it was 94F here and the humidity was well over 80% Andrew!  I think most of us "needed" that AC!

My mother never had a dryer in her life.  It was hanging clothing outside or in the basement, depending on season and weather!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

What a useful post, Jay.  I'm definitely bookmarking and suggesting, of course.  I will bookmark later.  Soon, I really should get a new fridge, anyway, so this will help me justify the cost.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 5 years ago

One thing technology has done in the past 15 years is improve compressor efficiency dramatically Debbie.  It's worth the short-term expense, which turns into long-term saving.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Very interesting information; we've been looking into our electric usage and charges lately and were thinking of switching companies, but in addition to that, I've seen a few things in your article that we could do better at managing.

Thanks for the post.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 5 years ago

Great Kat!  It's not likely that one company offers a much better kilowatt rate than another, but it's possible.  Our management is key, however.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I have that new flat screen and other high usage items on a timer and they shut off most of the day.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 5 years ago

Our electric company is a monopoly....no changing that...every appliance replaced is with more efficiency and less dependence...great post !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

That probably works too Raymond!

S&D - you don't have a choice because you don't have a deregulated state!  That's the first start!  States that are deregulated allow consumers to choose any electric power company they want.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Great share Jay!  I had an energy audit by our power company 5 years ago...the refrigerator was older and was as you say an extraordinary consumer!  The electric company gave me a $100 coupon to buy an new one which paid itself off in electric savings in less than 2 years...I am still saving.  Love CFL bulbs & I use them nearly everywhere!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Who paid for that $100 coupong Ginny?  And I don't like or use CFLs, for lots of reasons.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago
Hi Jay, I tell my clients all the time to get rid of that second fridge sitting the the garage or man cave. They simply refuse to. Being upgraded in some things in the home is a good and bad thing. Like you mentioned about the flat screened T.V.'s. But the trend will continue for a long time. Client's don't ;listen to most advice when an audit is issued to them. Have a great day in Bristow. Best, Clint McKie
Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

Jay, I have always heard that it is best to set your temperatures at a steady rate versus turing them off the save energy. The reason I was given is the workload that colling down or heating up everything in the house is the most expensive use of power. What do you think?

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 5 years ago

Most saving requires spending Clint.  While they might not see that with a fridge, they often spend more because the grocery store offers 1 "free"with three purchased.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

That's true Joe, especially when regulated by a programmable thermostat.   But that's the point of a different post.   And gas and electric are other also considerations, and will be the point of a different post.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago
Very interesting information Jay. We all buy stuff, plug it in and never give a thought about the recurring cost. Your example of the old refrigerator is great. The savings would pay for a new refrigerator in less than year. Last year I bought a new gas dryer and installed a tankless,hot water heater and my gas bill dropped over 20%.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) over 5 years ago

Gas vs electric is a future post Bill.  Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Great post!  I will post this on my Facebook page AND reblog!  Thanks for sharing this VALUABLE information.

Posted by Kate McQueen, Tailored service for your real estate needs! (CB&A Realtors) over 5 years ago

Great post about energy usage.  We take electricity for granted until we don't have it too!

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) over 5 years ago

Interesting break down. I would have thought air conditioning was a bigger percentage.

Posted by Vanessa Saunders, From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York (Global Property Systems Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Yes to this post and I remembered too that even things plugged in that we dont use suck up energy...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 5 years ago

Jay, I read it all. very interesting. We mostly have natural gas for stove, dryer, furnace and don't need AC so our bills are pretty low but I can see where they could be lower. The refrigerator costs for the old one is staggering. You could buy a new one with the cost of the old per year.

Posted by Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate, Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties (RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales) over 5 years ago

Thanks Kate, and I'm glad you found so much you can use!

Marc - that's when it becomes a big deal!

That figure is for a 12 SEER unit I think, Vanessa, so the newer ones will be more efficient than that.

The way is to unplug if you want savings, somtimes Richie.

H&L - that gas/electric debate will be the topic of another post!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Great post! I often get asked about utility bills for homes, but spend a lot of time telling people that usage can also be very personal.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) over 5 years ago

It is personal Nina.  We all have different stuff and habits!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay -- great write up -- but I can't fit 2 - 16 Cu Ft Freezers in the space my 31 cu ft takes up, and they don't make them that big any more.  So I pay the extra electricity.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 5 years ago

Freezers aren't that expensive generally Steven.  My biggest is 28 cu ft.  That one of yours must be a monster!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Nice posting Jay! Lots of those things people don't even give a thought to. I would like to extend my comment here... but I want to save energy :-)

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 5 years ago

Take a nap Fred.  That's the best energy saver I can think of!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Right.  Sometimes we act like energy is free and just fritter it away.  But some of these appliances use a lot more that we think.  Thanks.

Posted by Al Remetch over 5 years ago

And that's not even close to a complete list of what many of us have in our homes Al!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, Good stuff. Here in the land of cheap power (>.03 kw) people just do not think about these things and they should. Still adds up over time.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, this is another terrific article packed with information.  I knew I needed a new fridge -- now I have the documentation.

Posted by Elise Harron, Rural Vacant Land and Development Specialist (Dirt Road Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Lost of hydroelectric out there Don?  Hopefully that is always so.  This used to be the country of cheap oil, then 1973 happened.  Habits had to change!

Elise - that one is the easiest decision to make.  They have gotten more efficient even in the last 10 years!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, I have your great post in My favorites for last week. Here is the link:

my-favorite-blog-posts-for-last-week-september-9th-to-15th

Posted by Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate, Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties (RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales) over 5 years ago

 

   The electrical co-op that we're members of has a "Kill-A-Watt Program" wherein they have recently purchased a dozen Kill A Watt EZ™ Electricity Usage Monitors that they have made available at our local high school library for co-op members to check out just like other library resources.  The monitor is a multi-function electric meter that allows you to instantly see what the wattage is that an appliance is drawing at any time. It also counts the total electrical use in killowatt-hours (kwh) and projects your electrical expenses by the hour, day, week, month and even an entire year.  It's great for checking all your 120v appliances.

 

Posted by John J. Woods (Aardvark Appraisals) over 5 years ago

Jay, A client of mine recently bought a house and basically gutted it and modernized it.  She found out that the savings realized by using LED lighting, especially in the places where lighting was used the most, outweighed the increased initial cost and payback was realized relatively quickly.  We have so many opportunities to save, but most of us are "blind" to them.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 5 years ago

Thanks H&L!  You are quite the masochists!

My coop has those too John.  They are available here for installation, almost like a permanent fixture.  I have not done it.  Our bills are cheap because we are pretty frugal.  No video games!

LEDs are getting cheaper Chris.  But she is right, they really do last a long time.  I don't know how to calculate a break even though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

For our energy use vampire appliances such as computers, sterios, TV etc... we use an surge protector with an on and off switch. 

Great info, thanks

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments