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Using less energy is the best way to go.

editors-blog-entry3Ever wonder how your household electric use and costs stack up against those of others in the U.S.?

Wonder no more.

SolarChargedDriving.Com stumbled across a great electric use and cost resource on the web recently: ‘The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Average Monthly Electric Bill page’.

OK, so the title is kind of dry. But, if you’re an energy use/cost wonk as we are, its contents are actually quite fascinating.

A few highlights:

  • Electricity is most expensive in Hawaii = 32.5 cents per kWh (Hawaii generates much of its electricity by burning oil)
  • Electricity is cheapest in Idaho = 7 cents per kWh (hydro power generates much of Idaho’s electricity)
  • The national average per kWh cost for electricity in the U.S. = 11.3 cents
  • Louisiana residents use the most electricity on average = 1,252 kWh per month
  • Maine residents use the least electricity = 521 kWh per month
  • Nationally, American households average 920 kWh of electricity used per month
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The electric grid.

Comparing electricity consumption
Finally, it’s interesting to compare your own electric use to the average use in the state in which you live as well as to the national average.

After temporarily upping our electricity use last year so that we could get a utility rebate for a home solar system big enough to power both our home electric use and a future electric vehicle (the problem we had with our utility was that our EV was a future, rather than a current one), we’re now averaging about 300 kWh consumed per month.

That’s well below the Colorado average of 679 kWh per month and about one-third of U.S. monthly average of 920 kWh.

No, we don’t live in a cave. We’ve got a 2,000 square foot house with all the regular American household trappings – dishwasher, electric range oven, microwave, refrigerator, a washer and dryer, etc.. To be fair, we’re hanging much of our laundry these days – a dryer sucks a lot of electricity. We’re also quite stingy with our other big electricity sucker – central air conditioning.

Our monthly electric use will rise substantially once we get that EV in our garage. (Of course, with more than 2,500 banked kWh equal to 10,000 miles of driving and counting – it’s all paid for already). Who knows, with a plug-in car plugged in in our garage we might even hit the Colorado household month average 😉

How does your home electric use compare to your state’s average and the U.S. national average?

Compare it at: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/esr/table5.html

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