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Understanding Your Energy Usage

Learn how to calculate power consumption by kWh per month.

Written by Caitlin Ritchie

Edited by Jamie Cesanek

Last updated 12/22/2023

Hirurg/E+/Getty images

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Key Points

  • Calculating your power consumption can help you lower your usage and save on energy bills.
  • You can estimate your monthly energy usage using the formulas listed on this page.
  • Understanding and lowering your usage can help you save on energy bills.
Coffee Maker900-1200 watts
Toaster 800-1400 watts
Iron100-1800 watts
Ceiling fan 65-175 watts
Space heater (40gal) 4500-5500 watts
Hair dryer1200-1875 watts
Laptop 50 watts
Computer monitor 150 watts
Computer tower 120 watts
Television 19"-36" 65-133 watts
Television 53"-61" 170 watts
  • In the winter, the most energy-efficient temperature for your thermostat is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer, set it to 78 degrees. Whenever you’re away from home, you should lower or raise your thermostat’s setting so you aren’t paying to heat or cool an empty house.

  • Using a smart thermostat instead of a manual or programmable thermostat can also help you manage your HVAC unit and lower bills. Smart technology lets you increase or decrease temperatures in your home from your smartphone, even when you’re afar.

  • Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. That will reduce your home’s electricity usage while also slowing buildup and corrosion in your home’s water heater and pipes.

  • ENERGY STAR-certified appliances consume less electricity than non-certified models. For example, ENERGY STAR washers and dryers use 20% less energy than other models. Swap out old, outdated appliances for these energy-efficient units.

  • Do you own a heated swimming pool? For every degree warmer you set your pool’s heater, you will pay 10%–30% more for heating costs. Lower your pool heater’s temperature to save on heating costs. 

  • Electronics make up an average of 7% of total energy costs. Invest in energy-efficient TVs, computers, and game consoles. You can also dramatically lower electronic energy usage by turning on the “power-saving” setting. For example, the power-saving setting on an Xbox One can lower the console’s standby energy consumption by 98%.

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