How Much Energy do Your Household Items Use? [Infographic]

Saving energy (and money) is always easier when you know how much you’re using. But because many of the convenient smaller appliances we use seem to draw small amounts of power, we all too often discount how their use really does impact our electricity bills. With our How Much Energy Does This Appliance Use? series, we’ll examine what’s watt in small appliances to see approximately how much they use. To help you understand very basic electrical consumption calculations, you’ll need to keep a simple equation in mind: Volts (V) x Amperes (I) = Watts (W). What you’ll discover is how just how small appliances can contribute to your home’s energy usage and how these little conveniences can make big differences on your bill.

Your electronics and appliances make everyday life more convenient, but they also contribute to your monthly electricity bill. While the power consumption of household appliances are relatively inexpensive in some cases, others can make up a surprising portion of your bill. With both lower and higher-wattage items, regular use can add up.

In this household energy infographic, we take a look at common energy using items like your smartphone charger, coffee maker, aquarium, hair dryer, and refrigerator and calculate how much energy each of these use in a month, as well as how much it costs to use them.

Learn how to calculate your electronics’ energy usage:

Watts Used x Hours in Use = Watt-hours (.001 kWh)

Sample costs for a few common devices based on a 10 cent per kWh fixed rate plan include:

How Much Energy do Your Household Items Use? [Infographic] | The Light Lab

Smartphone chargers consume between 15 and 20 watts when plugged in. If you charge your phone with a 20-watt charger for one hour every day, it will use 600 watt-hours, or 0.6 kWh. This costs 6 cents per month. Cheap charging – just remember to unplug the charger when not in use!

Coffee makers of average size use about 730 kWh per year or about 61 kWh per month, costing about $6.10 per month. Single use pod coffee makers keep hot water on standby, costing about an extra $5 per month.

Aquarium operating costs can vary significantly by tank size, the presence of water plants and the needs of specific fish species. An average-sized aquarium with all the bells and whistles can use about 136.8 kWh, costing $13.68 a month. 

Hair dryers use around 1,875 watts to generate heat and blow a powerful stream of air. Since you only use a hair dryer for about five minutes, it consumes about .156 kWh at a cost of about 1.5 cents. Used every day, that comes to about 46 cents a month.

Refrigerators, on average, use about 225 watts to cool your food. Assuming your refrigerator is on all the time, you will use about 5.4 kWh per day. That adds up to 162 kWh per month, costing $16.20.

When you embrace the convenience of your electronics, make sure you stay savvy about how much energy they use. The more educated you are about your household items and their effects on your energy bill, the more you can save!

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Josh Crank is a freelance writer with a background in legal journalism, travel writing and marketing. He's found his perfect fit in writing about home maintenance and repairs, energy efficiency, smart home technology and other topics to help readers make home life green and comfortable. Josh lives with his wife, two sons and endlessly howling beagle-basset hound mix in New Orleans.