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Thursday, April 26

How Much Electricity Does the Average Home Use?

Back in January I posted about my average utility bills.  In 2011 I spent an average of $47 per month for electricity.  This is the equivalent of about 275 kWh per month.  For most of last year we were a family of two although the last couple of months there were three of us.  Everything in my house is electric except my hot water, fireplace (which I never use) and piggyback heat (which only switches from electric to gas if outdoor temperatures drop below 30 degrees.

I admit I am a nosy neighbor and sometimes I check the meter next door to see how much the neighbors use (which is usually about twice as much as I do), but I wanted to know more, so I did a little digging.

In 2010, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,496 kWh, an average of 958 kilowatthours (kWh) per month. Tennessee had the highest annual consumption at 16,716 kWh and Maine the lowest at 6,252 kWh.

In the last 12 months I have used 3,739 kWh, so about 1/3 the national average but only 22% of my neighbors in Tennessee.  I'm proud to be a frugal energy user, because it frees up my cash to use for other things.  More importantly, I don't feel like I am sacrificing lifestyle in order to keep my costs down.  We keep our thermostat at 81 in summer and 60 in winter.  The TV stays off when we aren't watching it, and our computers are also shut down when not in use.  Lights go out when we leave the room.  It's all common sense stuff, so I'm left wondering why the "average" user is so much different than me. 

Source:  U.S. Energy Information Administration


  1. Hi, I was just over at Glenn Morrisette's blog and saw you commented. Now I'm here and I like what you have to write. I think I'm going to investigate the mystery shopper thing.

    Anyway, in Arizona we can call the utility company and they'll tell us the high and low monthly bill on any property. It can be a nieghbors or a house for sale.

  2. Pat,
    Thanks for your comments. That's a good idea about just calling the utility company. I did that when we were researching opening a restaurant but it never occurred to me to just call them up to see how much my neighbor's are consuming, for example.