Reducing your energy consumption would be relatively pain free if you could find out which appliance uses the most electricity and commit to using it less often. Yet in reality, various factors determine how much electricity an appliance uses. Expert answers and your own observation can guide you toward a simple solution.

### By Wattage

Research by the Otter Tail Power Company of Minnesota points to your clothes dryer as the appliance that consumes the most energy. Requiring 5,000 watts to operate, it consumes a median of 17 kWh of energy over the course of a month. Given that the U.S. Energy Information Administration prices a kWh at 11.2 cents as of 2011, your dryer costs roughly £1.20 on your utility bill. This estimate may be different based on your particular circumstances.

### Typical Use

Space heating accounts for 41 per cent of energy use in a typical American home, the EIA reports. Despite the fact that a clothes dryer uses more wattage than other appliances, this suggests that people tend to use space-heating appliances more than they use dryers.

### Household Preferences

How much you use an appliance has a great effect on how much electricity it consumes. If there are five people in your household, for instance, you probably use your water heater more often than someone who lives alone due to the additional four people who need to take showers. Also, your water heater is probably larger. Due to such variables, you should calculate energy consumption for your own appliances under your particular living circumstances.

### Calculating Your Usage

To determine how many kWh an appliance uses, divide its wattage by 1,000 and multiply the result by the number of hours for which you use the appliance. For example, a clothes dryer that you use for two hours for a total of 5,000 watts uses 10 kWh. Multiply the number of kWh by the cost of electricity to determine how much it costs you to use the appliance -- in this example, 70p.