The average energy use in a home can be broken down into the following categories, in order
of highest energy use to lowest energy use:
heating and cooling (38%)
water heating (25%)
other appliances (16%) - eg clothes and dish washers, entertainment and small
fridges and freezers (7%)
lighting (7%)
cooking (4%)
stand-by power (3%).
Average energy used in the home
The amount of energy used by a household is affected by:
The number of people living in the household
What fuels are used – ie electricity and/or gas
The efficiency of the building, appliances and occupants.
Households can compare their electricity use with other households and see if they can
improve the energy efficiency of their home. Households can also find out if they are getting
the best energy deal.
Pie chart data based on Baseline Energy Estimates
Typical Residential UseMajor Appliances use a significant amount of electricity in all types of households. Some of these
major appliances include refrigerators, stoves, freezers, washers, and dryers. Reducing time of use
for some of these appliances can help save on your bill. Purchasing ENERGY STAR® appliances will
also help reduce energy consumption.
Small Appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, toaster ovens, blenders, etc., do not consume
as much electricity as major appliances. Using some of these small appliances in place of a major
appliance can help reduce your electricity bill.
Entertainment includes electronics such as televisions, DVD players, cable boxes, gaming
systems, computers, speakers, monitors, etc. Unplugging these electronics, or switching them off
using a power bar can reduce the amount of standby power they consume. There are also many
electronic products on the market that are ENERGY STAR® qualified.
Lighting consists of the bulbs used in your home – indoor and outdoor. Replacing high-use
incandescents with ENERGY STAR®-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs will decrease
electricity use as they use up to 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. Installing motion
sensors and timers for outdoor lights will also help you save.
Heating, Cooling and Ventilation products are high users of electricity in your home. These
include space heaters (i.e. electric fireplaces), furnace fans, dehumidifiers, air exchangers, air
conditioning units, etc. One way to reduce on Heating, Cooling and Ventilation is to install a
programmable thermostat to reduce temperature at night or when you are away from home.
For Cooling
Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction In the summer; in the winter, run it at low
speed, but clockwise.
Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Save even more by turning off kitchen
and bath exhaust fans.
Change or clean your AC's air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak
For Heating
Cover all bare floors. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no
floor insulation.
Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump's temperature
activates the heat strip, which uses tons of energy.
For Lighting
Buy bulbs for less. Check out the Duke Energy Progress Residential Lighting Program to find local retailers
who offer energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs at discounted prices.
Replace standard bulbs with CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient than regular
bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light.
For Appliances
Set your refrigerator temperature between 30 and 42°F. Use the power-save switch if you have one.
Repair refrigerator door seals if you feel cold air around the closed door or if moisture is collecting.
For Water Heating
Check your hot water pipes for leaks, which can drain your energy savings.
Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads – available at home improvement stores – to reduce
your hot water use.
Turn off your water heater until if you plan on leaving home for a few days.
For Electronics
Plug electronics into a power strip, then turn the strip off when not in use to save in energy costs.
Avoid energy vampires. Even when they’re turned off, home electronics in “standby” mode use energy to
power features like clock displays.