How Much Power Does the Average American Home Use?

How Much Power Does the Average American Home Use?

Knowing how much electricity your home consumes can provide you with vital information, ensuring well-founded decisions. You can identify areas where you can cut costs, decide if it’s time to buy a new generator, and overall, ensure your home is equipped to handle your daily energy needs.

How much power is required to run a home?

In 2021, residential owners used 10,632 kWh of electricity each year, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That’s 886 kWh per month or around 29 kWh per day.

In terms of wattage, that daily consumption of 29 kWh translates to around 29,000 watts (29 x 1,000). Then, if you divide that by the number of hours in a day (24), you’d get roughly 1,200 watts per hour. This figure represents the power needed to run the average U.S. home.

What factors affect your home’s power requirements?

It's crucial to underscore that the mentioned average consumption merely serves as a starting point. Your home’s real wattage requirements will largely depend on factors such as:

    The size of your home

    The larger your home, the more rooms that will consistently use electricity. Additionally, your HVAC system will have to cool or warm up a significantly larger space, resulting in higher electricity costs.

    The size of your household

    Having more people in your home means that appliances will be used more often, from your hot water heaters to your TVs.

    The number of devices you use

    This is obvious, but the number of appliances directly influences your home's overall wattage—especially if energy-intensive items, such as refrigerators, are used at the same time. Moreover, how energy efficient your items are will also alter your overall wattage. Generally, items with a high Energy Star rating will consume fewer watts compared to their counterparts.

    The climate

    Your HVAC accounts for more than 40% of your home’s electricity consumption. A warm climate will require you to constantly run your AC, while wintry weather means you’ll have to run your heater more frequently. Running your HVAC for prolonged periods can greatly contribute to higher electricity bills.

How to calculate your home’s electricity needs

For a more accurate calculation of your property’s ideal wattage, covering all of your appliances—such as your HVAC unit, television, tea kettle, and the like—you will need to determine two things:

  • The starting wattage of each appliance.
  • The running wattage of each appliance.

List all of the electrical devices that you own with each of their wattages, creating a table that looks like this:


Starting Watts

Running Watts

Air conditioner






Washing machine



Once that’s done, add all of the running watts. In this example, that would be a total of 3600 (1100+1300+1200). Then, select the highest starting watt and add that to your total running watts. In this case, that would be 2300 + 3600 = 5900. That means you’ll need a generator with starting watts of 5900 and running watts of 3600 at the minimum.

Contact a local electrician to understand your home’s electricity needs

Determining the energy needs of your home can be a complex task, particularly if you aren’t sure about each appliance’s specifications. At Beeson Mechanical Service, we provide comprehensive services to homeowners in Whiteland, Indiana to cater to all of your electrical needs. Our skilled team can assist you in accurately calculating your home's electricity requirements, making sure you install a generator of the right capacity.

To schedule a consultation, call (317) 535-9338 today.