Years ago, no one really gave much thought to the amount of power a house required. Most houses in a neighborhood used about the same amount of energy because they all drew power from the same places.
Today, however, many people who are considering buying one of the Davenport, FL homes for sale want to know if the house was built to be energy efficient. Some may even want a house that’s green certified or that has an array of solar panels on it.
Understanding how much power a house should use and how to reduce that power is important to many homebuyers. Let’s break it down.
Power Is Measured in Kilowatt-Hours
The first thing you need to understand is how electrical power is measured. The standard measurement unit is a kilowatt-hour, often abbreviated to kWh. A kilowatt-hour is defined as the energy needed to power a 1,000-watt appliance for an hour. One thousand watts equals one kilowatt.
For example, a light bulb that uses 50 watts of energy would need to be turned on for 20 hours to use a kilowatt of energy. On the other hand, an appliance that uses 6,000 watts of power an hour would use six kilowatts of energy every hour or one kilowatt every ten minutes.
How Energy-Efficient Appliances Decrease Kilowatt-Hours
Today’s energy-efficient appliances are designed to lower the amount of energy a device needs, therefore lowering the number of kWh the home uses in an hour.
LED televisions, for example, need less than 0.02 kWh of energy to run for an hour. New refrigerators can run for a month on around 50 kWh. An air conditioner needs 3 kWh for every hour it runs.
This can still add up to a good amount of energy to run your home, but it’s much less than it used to be. Today’s LED light bulbs can run for an hour on around 0.0085 kWh of energy. Old incandescent bulbs would use 0.06 kWh. If the bulb was on for 25,000 hours, the LED would use up 213 kWh, while the older bulb would use 1,500 kWh.
How Much Energy Does a House Use?
Calculating how much energy a house will use isn’t an exact science. You have to take into account how cool or warm you like the house to be, how many devices you usually have on, how much time you spend watching television, and all of your other regular habits.
However, in 2018, a survey done by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that the average home in the United States used 10,972 kWh for the entire year, which is 914 kWh each month. In Florida, the survey showed that the average home used 1,110 kWh. The average price per kWh was $11.70, so the average bill was $130.51.
Your home may be more or less energy efficient. Older homes tend to use more energy because more cool air escapes through the windows, doors, and roofs. These homes were built using less insulation or less efficient insulation than newer homes are. Homes with older HVAC units and appliances are also likely to use more energy.
On the other hand, people who have had solar panels installed on their homes will use much less. You can also have new double-paned windows installed and look for ways to add insulation to the walls and attic of your home. If you do the math on these projects, you’ll often find that your energy savings cover the upfront costs in a fairly short amount of time. There are even some government rebates and other programs you can advantage of to help lower your energy costs.