How Do You Use Energy?

Approximate average monthly kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage:

Electric Heat 1, 000**
AC Cooling 1, 350***
Refrigerator-Freezer 188
Water Bed Heater 140
Lights 100-150
Range 100
Clothes Dryer (4 Loads/wk) 90
Television 45
Dishwasher 30
Electric Blanket 22
Coffee Maker 12
Clothes Washer 10
Microwave 8
Radio 7
Iron 5
Toaster 5
Waste Disposal 1


**Based on a 1, 500 sq. foot home. Homes differ in usage according to size, climate, construction, insulation and family living habits.

***Based on a 3-ton unit running 10 hours a day for 30 days.

What is a Kilowatt-Hour?

Electric power is measured in watts. All electrical appliances and light bulbs are sized, or rated, in watts. The term kilowatts mean 1, 000 watts. A kilowatt-hour is 1, 000 watts of power used for one hour. One kilowatt-hour will run a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours.

Energy Saving Tips

  • Replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents.
  • Use photocells and motion sensors on exterior lights to increase security.
  • Do consecutive loads of laundry to take advantage of residual heat in the dryer.
  • For cooling keep thermostat at 78 degrees when home and 85 degrees when away.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Turn off any unneeded lights, computers, copiers and appliances.
  • Consider insulating, caulking and weather stripping.
  • Consider installing new windows in older homes.
  • Close damper on chimney after a fire.

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling a home can be costly. Below are some tips to consider:

  • Check forced-air furnace filters regularly for efficient airflow.
  • On cloudy days, keep drapes and blinds closed. Drapes and blinds add an extra layer of insulation. On sunny days, open the drapes and blinds to let in the sun’s heat.
  • Don’t block registers, baseboards, radiators or cold air returns, air must circulate through and around them for maximum efficiency.
  • Seal heating ducts and insulate those that run through unheated spaces.
  • Cut up to three percent from your heating costs for every degree you set your thermostat back over an 8-hour period.
  • Don’t get caught setting the thermostat to a high temperature to heat your home faster. It won’t heat quicker and leaving it there can use a lot of energy.