Home appliances are more efficient than ever. LED light bulbs use a fraction of the wattage used by incandescent light bulbs.
Phantom power consumption for the standby mode of consumer electronics like televisions has never been lower. So with all of these new energy efficient advancements, each of which has widespread adoption in U.S. households, why aren’t your home’s electric utility bills lower?
The simple answer is that your home has more devices today than it has ever had before, and this multitude of electronics adds up to increased power needs that more than offset the savings being generated by more efficient appliances and “no-load” electric device requirements. Plus, utility rates have increased.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2009, the average American household paid $99.70 per month for electricity, using an average of 936 kWh per month. Today (in 2016 actually), the typical U.S. household paid $112 per month for electricity. This equates to an average used of 897KWh per month. So power usage has actually fallen in the past seven years, but electric utility pricing has risen, which is part of the reason your bill is higher.
But just as important is the growth in the sheer number of devices in the home. Data from Pew Research shows that two-thirds of all American households own a tablet and a smartphone. And 36 percent of households own a smartphone, laptop or desktop computer, and a tablet. All of these require a connection to the Internet, and according to Parks Associates, 71 percent of U.S. homes have Wi-Fi, which requires a router.
So let’s do some quick math for all those devices you have plugged in:
- Wireless routers uses nearly 53 kWh per year = $6/year
- Desktop computer uses 260kWh = $30/year
- Apple TV (first generation) uses 148 kWh (when the device is off) = $17/year
- DVR uses 11 kWh (when off) = $26/year
And these devices are just the tip of the iceberg when you consider smartphones, EV charging stations for vehicles, printers, etc.
But you better get used to it… the International Energy Agency predicts that energy use in the home for consumer electronics will double by 2022 and triple by 2030.
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