How much electricity consumes a refrigerator, a clothes dryer, a oven, a TV plasma, a coffe machine, a can opener... you name it?
See the list at right, with the estimated annual energy costs and consumption of appliances and electronics.
As shown in the table, an old refrigerator can cost $200/year to run, but a qualified unit costs just $50/year, or less. And the same is true for most other appliances and electronics.
Obviously, the real energy cost of each appliance or electronic device also varies with the pattern of use of each household; or with the climate region... So, be careful at reading the values in the table. They involve some inferences and simplifications.
Overall, in the USA, these energy costs related to home appliances and electronics amount to about 17%-22% of the average energy bills, according to recent data from EIA.
Their share is increasing (average of $330/year/household, USA, 2011). Many electronics cost little per year to run, but their high number makes them an important element of our energy bills.
Strategies for energy savings
Further below we show how you can reduce these costs.
Basically there are two ways:
1) using new and much more energy efficient appliances and electronics and...
2) changing the way you use them.
Most appliances and many electronics are now much more energy efficient than those of some years ago, especially qualified units (Energy Star...) Choosing a qualified unit provides at least 20-30% energy savings, compared to standard units.
But the way we use our electronics and appliances is also critical. As we mention below, 75% of the electricity used to power electronic devices is consumed while the products are turned off. It's an illustration of how important the patterns of use of our appliances and electronics can be.