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Average Home Energy Consumption

Post in 'The Green Room' started by velvetfoot, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I tried to add up my energy consumption for 2011: 3529 kwh, 381 gal of oil, and 3.5 cords of wood, and came up with 141,812,493 BTUs. Then I found this website that says for NY the average consumption was 102.6 million BTUs. Needless to say, I'm disappointed. Could the inefficiency of wood be a factor? Any other insights or other comparisons?

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  2. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm around 8000kwh, 750 litres of oil, and 7.5 cords of wood. Or was until the boiler swap out of this fall.

    3529kwh over a year is something I'd be very happy with.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. The kwhs will go up some with the electric water heater, the oil should go down some, and I'm I bet the wood consumption will go up with the bigger insert and perhaps cooler temps.
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Great idea; I should do that, too. Our electricity use is lower but we also have a natural gas stove and dryer so that is really no special feat. On the other hand, 8000 kWh sounds really high; are you using electricity also for heating?
  5. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    With our now all-electric house we are running ~14 MWh/year for all appliances, space heat/cool and DHW. I might burn a quarter tonne of biomass per yr on WEs or when we feel like a fire. My utility says that similar-sized, all electric homes in my area use ~26 MWh/yr on average!

    To the OP, I imagine the difference may be related to 'primary' energy BTUs or 'site generated' BTUs, or is that for space heating alone? The average house in the US uses 12.7 MWh/yr of grid electricity, averaging electric heat users with the rest. That would require roughly 120 MBTU/yr of primary FF energy before you count any FF burned on site.

    Also for carbon footprint, I would drop the wood from the calc, or score it at 10% of an equivalent FF BTU.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    It does?

    I do think it's a bit much, but when comparing power bills with friends & neighbours ours isn't up there by any means. No electric heating. Our appliances are getting a bit old, have an upright freezer, dryer runs more than it should (clothesline way underused), TV on all the time along with another older CRT one that is hooked up to a PS3 (so it's on a lot). My computer also almost always on 24/7. We could do better, no doubt.
  7. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

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    We use on average around 1350kwh a month. Our house is all electric. I would be very happy with >8MWh usage or less per year.

    My total usage:

    (12 * 1350) * kwh = 55276694.5 btu
    2 cords * 22MBTU cord = 44000000 btu

    Total: 99,276,694.5 BTUS - 6 million less than what most Ohioans use.

    I have a friend who uses around 3kwh a month on a all electric home. He also has 4 kids in the house and none of them know how to shut a light off. During the summer you can hang beef in house and run around in shorts in the winter so I think a lot of it has to do with personal heating and cooling preferences.

    I have geothermal heat / cooling along DHW assist , new hot marathon hot water heater, newer appliances, and CFL bulbs. Outside of spending 3k to spray foam my crawl space and putting kill a watt meter on every plug I am not sure how I would be able to drop my electricity usage any more.
  8. pdf27

    pdf27 Member

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    We're currently using 2100 kWh of electricity and ~10,000 kWh (34 million BTU) of gas per year. Gas should hopefully drop significantly over the next two years as we fit solar thermal and a wood stove.
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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  10. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    That 102 million average is interesting. Sounds surprisingly low... I read somewhere that the average us household uses 10,000 kWh of electricity alone... We use around 8000 kWh and we don't have electric heat. Elec stove,dryer and a dehumidifier for the basement are the big loads.

    If I add up all our usage we are probably around 160 million, not including gas for the cars.
  11. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Digging into the excel sheets, there is a note that it is 'site' or 'delivered' energy excluding biomass and solar. By that token, 1 MWh of elec is just 3.4 MBTU. My usage in these terms is 47 MBTU/yr, versus 96 for PA average. My case is 'skewed' by the use of HP tech.

    By the same scoring, velvetfoot is using ~62 MBTU/yr of 'site' energy, well below the NY average of 102 MBTU. VF's score is 'skewed' by the use of wood burning tech.
  12. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Whenever these threads come up im simply amazed at how little energy many on these boards use. We use about 35mbtu a year just for water heating in a high efficiency gas boiler. And we live in a tiny house. Without the kids that might go down to 25 maybe....

    I've gone to all cfl and led lighting, insulated as much as possible without gutting the place, energy star appliances . but still the elec is high.


    how do you guys Do it? No TVs in the house? No kids driving up the bills?
  13. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Jeremy...if you count your site energy....3.4 MBTU/MWh, 100kBTU/therm NG, what is your total, omitting biomass BTUs?...prob not 160 MBTU/yr.

    In my first year in my house (2005-2006), it appears I used >200 MBTU site energy (prob something to do with the 1350 gals of fuel oil we went through).
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    18.4 MBTU for electricity and 23.8 MBTU for Oil + 71.9 MBTU of Wood Pellets = 114.1 MBTU to run the place with.

    Base 65 HDD 7,378 2644 square feet 5.8491 BTU/square foot/degree day
  15. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    You are right. I just checked the numbers and was surprised to learn that the average household electricity use is 11,500 kWh per year. :eek: So you are below average!

    I knew we were conserving energy but by that much? I certainly try to save energy. I mean the TV is not on that much and it is on a powerstrip so I turn it completely off when not in use. Computers go to sleep at night and I even switch off the modem. CFLs/LEDs for most of the house and I am adamant about switching lights off when leaving the room. Some electric baseboard heating but that is getting less thanks to the woodstove. Stove and dryer run on gas that certainly saves a lot. However, maybe the biggest contributor is that no one is at home during the day plus we do not have energy hogs like an airconditioner. Still, I think most of the savings come from behavioral changes. I just do not take electricity for granted.
    PapaDave likes this.
  16. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I'll throw mine into the mix - ~4200 kWh, 400 gallons of oil and 1.5 cords of wood = 103MBtu.

    It's probably tough to be better than that in a heating climate. If I lived in an apartment in NY City or California, I am sure that I could beat it by a lot.
  17. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I just checked our energy consumption and wish I would not have done it. I thought we were doing much better than we are apparently. :mad:
    All numbers Oct 2011 to Oct 2012:

    Electricity: 2800 kWh 9.5 mill BTU
    Wood: 2.5 cords 54.0 mill BTU
    Kerosene: 100 gl 13.5 mill BTU
    Natural gas: 324 ccf 33.1 mill BTU
    Total: 110.1 mill BTU

    That is pretty close to average for the northeast. I would have never thought that the wood would supply that many BTUs. I guess I have to look to insulate the place further then. <>
  18. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    take a pill people, the EIA numbers velvet cites are **excluding** biomass BTUs.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Which makes them incomplete.
    woodgeek likes this.
  20. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    WG...

    Without wood I figure about 135 mbtu.

    Big one is natural gas, its an old house and the heat is gas fired steam (85% boiler tho, about as good as it gets on steam), with an indirect for hot water. We burn350 therm a year for hot water and then another 600-700 for heat (+1.5 cord wood).


    Electric runs 600-700 kWh in the winter and pushing 1000 in the summer. Basement dehumidifier is a big culprit and my wife is home full time with the kids so we are using it 24/7. 2 babies... Lofts of laundry also driving up the bill.
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I remember reading the average home in Pa use about 75 million Btu per heating season. Im assuming for heat. I use at least 100 million.
  22. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Always interesting and informative to review energy usage. Our house is 100% electric + heat from a wood stove. Total electric last 12 months = 11,113 kwh = 37.8 Mbtu. Total wood burned same period = 4 cords aspen = 13.7 x 4 = 54.8 Mbtu. Total energy usage = 92.6 Mbtu.

    Electric breakdown (3 meters on our system):
    DHW = 1,266 kwh = 4.3 Mbtu (= 0.31 cord of aspen equivalent)
    Heat = 3,393 kwh = 11.5 Mbtu (= 0.84 cord of aspen equivalent)
    General = 6,454 kwh = 21.9 Mbtu (= 1.6 cord of aspen equivalent)

    Our electric bill is about $1200/yr for energy equivalent to 2.75 cords of aspen, or $436/cord of aspen. I would gladly cut, split, stack and burn another 2.75 cords of aspen if I had a way to do that to eliminate my electric bill.
  23. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, the EIA numbers exlude biomass, but really, how many people use it?
    My place is only 2000 ft2, that's 71000 btu/ft2.
  24. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Our home is 1500 sq ft main level (+ 1500 sq ft basement which is heated to about 50F). Using 1500 sq ft main level as the heated space, ours works out to 44,200 btu/sq ft. Our heating degree days base 70 for this same 12 month period was 9839.
  25. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Unless you have a specific reason, you should use 65 as the base for your HDD, not 70. The base temperature is not the thermostat temperature, it is the exterior temperature where you do not need heating. It's not a huge difference, but unless we start off comparing apples with apples, we get nowhere.

    While I'm impressed by the low levels of energy consumption sometimes reported, I'm usually even more shocked at the high levels people report. I will not suffer discomfort to save money, but if I had some of those bills, I'd suffer.

    I'll get exact figures later but I estimate 100MBTU, total energy use for 4 people in a 2300sqft heated space.

    TE

    Edited to correct massive miscalculation.

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