How much do you use???

A quick Google search tells me that the average American household uses 1,500 KWH for a home that averages 1,600-2,000 square feet.

And a very unscientific, half-assed measurement of my little Montana home tells me that it’s about 1,040 square feet.  It’s got two bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, dining area, living room and a utility room (previously seen as my “Pantry” and laundry room – slash – back entry).  My heat is propane, as is my hot water.  But unfortunately, my cook stove is electric.  I’m no fan of the electric cook stove, but I work with what I have.

I just paid my electric bill the other day.  I’ll be honest – I’m one of those people that just doesn’t really look all that closely at the bills.  The come in the mailbox, and on the 15th of the month I look at the total and pay it.  No closer inspection warranted.

With my ever increasing, and probably unhealthy obsession with seeing how much of my life is possible without the use of electricity, I decided to pull out the bill I paid last week to see how much power I’m sucking up.

119 kwh for May.  To be fair, back in the dark of winter, my December bill used 273 kwh.

Montana days in the summer are notoriously long.  The sun starts to light the eastern sky about 4am, and there’s still an inkling of twilight left about 11pm.  So our days are long.  And they’re just as short in the winter.  The sun clears the mountains a bit after 9am, and starts setting around 3:30’ish.  As it stands, I use electric for my stove, my laptop, occasional lamps if I’m up late enough, and my washer/dryer.  Upon closer inspection of this month’s electric bill – I see that my actual electric usage cost me $3.08.  The rest is delivery charges one of ilk or another.  The base charge alone is $24.87.  Yikes!

So I’m curious – how much electricity to you use? Is 1,500 kwh really the norm for the average American household?

Categories: Technology | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “How much do you use???

  1. The bill we got a couple days ago said our average is 1100 a month (for a 1200sf house that is nearly 100% electric.) That said, I think those numbers aren’t indicative of what we really use…that’s an average from July 09- to present and over the course of that year, we’ve had several instances of using a LOT more power than usual. Involving a well struck by lightning that had to be run for days on end in an attempt to get clear water. On at least 3 separate occasions. So there’s several hundred (thousand?) kilowatts we wouldn’t have used in average year. I’d guess that our *real* average is well under 1000, probably closer to 900. Hope you don’t mind me writing a book about our well woes LOL.

    • LOL Thanks for the input! I’m curious what the average household uses – even when it comes to well woes. 🙂

  2. Tyler

    We’re 100% electric and being in the south it gets HOT! So we average 1500 or so, 1900 in the coldest months and 900 in the decent weather.

    • Yeah – that southern weather’s a killer for electric usage. In the three years I’ve been back in Montana, I’ve only used a window air conditioner for a couple weeks. I’m grateful that those don’t contribute to my usage.

      Thanks for weighing in!

  3. We’re in south Florida and use mega more KWH than you, although we’re making progress. In 2008, we averaged 93.43 KWH per day, in 2009, we got it down to 87.74 per day (not a big difference, but we replaced a wall unit air conditioner with a new, smaller, energy efficient one and we replaced all our central air ducts throughout the house, have replaced any big appliances as they go with Energy Stars, etc. Now our biggest electric hog is the 600 square feet of flat roof we have that isn’t insulated. We never seem to have the extra $4000 it’s going to take to replace it in the dry season, so it’s on hold for another year because we’re smack dab in the middle of rainy season again. We’ve got about 2000 square feet – 600 of which is not central air.

    Our goal is to replace the flat roof, put in 2 solar attic fans, get a solar water heater and replace all the windows in the house with that new e-glass. Should make a huge difference. Then we’ll work on getting some solar panels. One step at a time.

    We’ve got 176 acres in Tennessee we’ll move to one day and we plan on building a zero-energy house on it. Right now, we plod along with our backyard chickens and organic gardening on our attempt at urban homesteading.

    • Wow – I’ll bet South Florida gets mighty hot and sticky. I’m sure if I lived in an environment like that my electric usage would be through the roof too – I’m not a big fan of heat. And definitely not humidity! I’ve been blessed with a very cool summer this year. In fact, I had the heat on July 4th!

      Love the name of your blog – I’m gonna go check it out!

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