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Home Energy Audit

Hey, I have a great way to save energy and money. Just unplug everything.

Wait! Slow down. Do you really think you can go around and just unplug appliances when they are not in use? Sure, maybe the coffee pot or toaster.  I even understand unplugging some of those electronic gadgets. But . . . um . . . you’ve just unplugged the refrigerator. Do you really think that is such a wise choice? I think that is one thing that really should be kept running.


It is no secret that appliances consume energy. Lots of it. In a typical family home, the cost of running appliances eats up nearly 40 percent of the entire electric bill.

Some of the largest offenders are those which, of course, need to remain running continually. These include the water heater, refrigerator, washer and dryer.

Of course, some homes have other miscellaneous appliances which contribute to the energy expenditures. Aquariums, for example, can add to your electric bill. So can that old freezer you may have out there in your garage. And then there are those impressively large, extravagant home entertainment centers. Impressive, that is, until you get the electric bill in the mail.

Interested in learning the annual usage — and cost — of some of the most common appliances? I have laid it all out in an easy-to-read chart. Remember, these costs are for an entire year — not just a month. They are an average cost for US based homes.

Annual Kilowatt Usage And Costs For Household Appliances

Appliance kWh used in the year Annual approximate cost
Water heater 5,400 $594
Spa 2,230 $245
Pool pump 1,400 $154
Refrigerator 1,200 $132
Clothes washer 900 $99
Waterbed heater 850 $94
Clothes dryer 845 $93
Freezer 750 $83
Electric cooking 680 $75
Dishwasher 600 $66
Aquarium 570 $63
Well water pump 500 $55
Dehumidifier 355 $39
Microwave oven 150 $17
Television 140 $15
Home computer 107 $12
Electric blanket 100 $11