How many watts of power does the average house use per day?

Written by eric moll
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How many watts of power does the average house use per day?
(Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The watt does not measure how much energy is used over a given period of time--it measures the rate of energy use per second. The amount of energy a house uses daily is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).

Energy Use by the Average U.S. Household

According to the U.S. Energy Information Association, the average American home in 2008 used 11,040 kWh. This equals a daily usage of 30.16 kWh.

Geographic Variation

Electricity usage varies by state. In 2008, Tennessee homes consumed the most power, at 42.69 kWh/day, while Maine homes consumed the least, at 17.07 kWh/day. This variation is most likely due to homes in colder regions being heated by natural gas or wood, while the air conditioning in warmer states is all electrical.

Breakdown of Energy Uses

Air conditioning is the biggest user of electricity, at 16.5 per cent of the home's total consumption. Next is lighting (15.4 per cent), then water heating (9.2 per cent), space heating (8.9 per cent), refrigeration (8 per cent), televisions (7.3 per cent), clothes dryers (5.6 per cent), computers (3.6 per cent), cooking (2.2 per cent), dishwashers (2 per cent), freezers, (1.7 per cent) and clothes washers (0.7 per cent). Miscellaneous other uses take up 18.8 per cent.


The energy used by the average U.S. home each day, 30.16 kWh, is equal to the combined kinetic energy of 108 1-ton vehicles moving at 100mph, or the kinetic energy of a 55-ton aircraft at landing speed (115 knots), or the amount of energy released by burning 100 cubic feet of natural gas.

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