Category : General

Understanding your energy use at home

It’s not always easy to understand your monthly electrical bill. Which home appliance consumes the most electricity? We will help you see more clearly and better understand your specific energy use. The first step in energy saving measures is to determine which of your appliances consume the most.


Heating, an energy-intensive activity


Heating devices are often energy-intensive. This is very apparent when looking at the way energy consumption is distributed in the household. As shown in the following diagram, heating alone (either water or space) represents approximately 60% of the energy used at home.


energy use at home


Of course, these are approximate figures; regions subject to severe cold weather are more likely to have a higher proportion in the heating category. Yet, there are many energy-saving solutions you can use to change your heating habits. Owning efficient appliances (electric heaters and hot water tank) is of course important, but many other actions can help reduce energy costs without breaking the bank, such as sealing leaks and adopting greener gestures, such as cutting the water when soaping up in the shower.


On the other hand, producing fresh air also represents significant energy expenditure. While it’s true that we only use air conditioning a few months out of the whole year, it still represents 6% of the annual energy expenditure. This is a significant number and replacing the air conditioning by ventilation whenever possible will help you lower your electricity costs in the summer.


Appliances, electronic devices and lighting also increase the bill


The rest of your energy use (about a third) goes to various appliances and electronic devices, as well as lighting.


The quality and the age of your devices will significantly affect their energy consumption, but you can consume less electricity without replacing them. For example, switch them off instead of leaving them on standby. If you want to get a good overview of the electricity consumption of each appliance, use the following estimator from the U.S. Government.


Lighting represents more energy than what we may think, often around 5% of our total consumption. This may not seem like much, but changes are easy to apply, simply by investing in greener bulbs, such as LED bulbs.


For further specifics on your energy use, think about getting an energy audit!


Energy audits aren’t just for companies and organizations! Many specialized companies offer their services to individuals to help them optimize their energy use and reduce their electricity bill.


Therefore, if you want to know the exact energy consumption of your various appliances and devices in your home, you can turn to these professionals to perform an energy audit for you. You will then know in detail which items are considered a weak point in terms of energy consumption and you will be able to address them as effectively as possible. The price of an audit quickly pays for itself once you start seeing the savings on your energy bill.


Understanding your home energy use is definitely the first step in an energy saving strategy. You must first be aware of your energy-intensive devices before you adopt a more efficient solution. Have you performed an energy audit? Were you surprised by the breakdown of energy use in your home? Don’t hesitate to share your experience in the comments section!


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