How much power do you use?
How much power should you be using?
Modern homes use far more electrical appliances than ever before, and as a result, much more power is required to be able to run the average home. Advancements in insulation and modern technology have gone a long way towards making the absolute most of our power usage, but there are still several actions we can take to reduce our energy consumption further.
Here we take a look at how much energy is required to run an average home, as well as some of the ways to minimise the amount you are using.
Obviously, the amount of power it takes to run a home will vary considerably based on the way you live and the amount of electrical appliances, temperature control and so on, that you use on a regular basis. It could also depend upon:
- How big your residence is.
- The number of people living there.
- The type and number of appliances.
- When and how appliances are used.
- Whether you have a pool, spa, air conditioner or other energy-hungry devices.
- The climate you live in. (and therefore whether you need to use more heating than other places)
I have a personal interest in power consumption: last year, I documented the process of setting up a home networkthat included a central network attached storage box on which I can store, and automatically back up, everything from documents to a music library to photos. It's working fine, but to say that I haven't noticed a rise in electricity bills would be lying.
Curious as to how much of this is related to the connected home, I purchased a specialised electrical meter (a no-name unit from Zazz.com.au that measures usage of devices plugged into it. Electrical purists out there may scoff at using such a seemingly basic meter, and there may be arguments that this task rightly required a high-end meter costing thousands of dollars — or, perhaps, not. But it's more electrical meter than I had previously.
Measuring consumption using a meter like this is easy: plug in the meter to your mains point, plug in your device to the meter, and push the button to cycle through the readings. Once we have readings, we can assign a cost to the consumption and figure out just how much that Earth Hour is going to save us.
The cost of leaving appliances on stand-by:
Standby power could cost you well over $100 per year, depending on a myriad of factors, including the number of appliances left on standby, the appliance efficiency ratings and the rate you pay for electricity.
The table below looks at a household with 10 standard appliances. In this case, we worked out that this household is spending as much as $90 per year on wasted electricity. Of course, many households have more appliances and devices than the ones we’ve listed or have multiple of the same appliance, so be sure to take this into consideration.