- U.S. residential energy consumption is increasing, primarily due to the rise in home electronic device usage.
- Common causes of excessive energy use include idle appliances, inefficient bulbs, HVAC overuse, and poorly maintained appliances.
- Adopting LED lighting, unplugging unused appliances, maintaining HVAC systems, and upgrading appliances can help reduce energy consumption.
- Energy audits can identify energy leaks and potential savings, while home insulation and reduced water use further decrease energy needs.
- Smart technology and energy-efficient appliances offer significant reductions in energy usage and cost.
Electricity is important in people’s lives. Everyone needs it to power homes, devices, and lives. However, some people may be using more electricity than they need and are unaware of it. Here’s a look into the country’s electricity consumption, why your house uses too much electricity, and ways to lessen this consumption.
Energy Consumption in The U.S.
It’s estimated that residential customers in the U.S. pay $137 monthly for electricity, accounting for 21 percent of total U.S. energy consumption. However, there’s no denying that Americans use more electricity than ever.
In 2018, the average annual electrical usage per person in the U.S. was 12,051 kWh—a 7 percent increase from 2010 and a 10 percent jump from 1990 figures. This was mainly due to the increased number of home electronic devices.
Reasons Your House is Using Too Much Electricity
There could be a few reasons why your home uses more electricity than necessary. Here are some common culprits:
1. Leaving Appliances Plugged In
You may be surprised that leaving appliances plugged in, even when not in use, could result in significant standby power usage. Standby power usage can account for up to 10% of your electricity bill. To avoid this, unplug your appliances when they are not being used, or use a power strip that lets you simultaneously turn off the power to multiple appliances.
2. Not Using LED Light Bulbs
One of the biggest culprits of energy consumption in a home is the lighting system. Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are notorious for their energy inefficiency. Switch to LED light bulbs as soon as possible. LED bulbs consume 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer. Investing in LED bulbs is smart if you want to reduce your electricity bill.
3. Overusing HVAC Systems
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems consume significant energy in a home. Many homeowners accidentally run their HVAC systems all day to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. However, this results in unnecessary energy consumption, leading to a higher electricity bill. Instead, set your thermostat to a workable temperature depending on the season and wear appropriate clothing to stay comfortable.
4. Not Maintaining Appliances
Another common mistake that homeowners make is neglecting to maintain their appliances regularly. When appliances are not maintained, they become less efficient and consume more energy. Always keep your appliances clean and schedule maintenance visits regularly.
5. Using Old-Style Hot Water Heaters
Traditional water heaters have a large storage tank that always keeps hot water available. This results in energy consumption even if hot water is not being used. Switching to a tankless water heater could be a good solution for reducing energy consumption. These heaters only heat water on demand, which means you only use energy when you need hot water.
Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption
There are various ways you can reduce energy consumption in your home. Here are some of those ways:
First, knowing how much energy you use every month is essential. A local consumer energy home evaluation service provider can do this for you. The provider can check for energy leaks and suggest ways to reduce electricity usage. They do this by inspecting your home, conducting a blower-door test to assess air leakage, and checking for ventilation improvements.
Insulate Your Home
Insulating your home is an effective way to reduce energy consumption. Proper insulation keeps the indoor temperature stable and prevents outside air from coming in. This reduces the energy used by your HVAC system.
Reduce Water Consumption
Another way to reduce your electricity consumption is to reduce your water usage. Install low-flow shower heads and toilets, and try not to use hot water too much. You should also fix any plumbing leaks in the house as soon as possible. A leak can cause a massive increase in energy bills if left unchecked.
Use Smart Technology
Smart technology can be an effective way to reduce energy consumption. Smart thermostats are equipped with sensors that detect when no one is home and turn off the air conditioner or heater accordingly. Automated lighting systems can also help you save money by automatically turning lights off when not in use.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Old appliances consume more energy than newer models. If you have an old fridge, washer, or dryer, consider replacing it with an Energy Star-rated model. This will help reduce your electricity consumption and lower your utility bills significantly.
Energy efficiency is essential for homes in the U.S., not only to conserve natural resources but also to help reduce costs. If you want to save money on your electric bill, consider doing an energy audit, insulating your home, and upgrading your appliances. With these steps, you can reduce your energy consumption significantly and save on electricity costs.