The US department of Energy (DOE) says, “Small Appliances draw 19.2 percent of total power usage in the home”.

Around the office, we have fun with a tool called the “kill-a-watt”. You plug any electronic device into it and it tells you how much power that device draws while in the “on”, “standby”, or “off” state. It’s pretty interesting to see some of the small appliances which pull a significant amount of power— things like computers, televisions, chargers, etc.

But, really… how much money does that add up to? Well, the average single-family homeowner spends a total of $1,600 per year ($133/month) on electricity, which means $307 per year ($25.50/month), is spent specifically to run consumer electronics.  

However, it depends on what you have in your home. For example, many have a Comcast HD-DVR. After testing it with the “kill-a-watt”, we found that it consumes around $13 / year with current Seattle area PSE rates.

With the Seattle area PSE increase of 7% happening in December 08, that would mean a small increase of $27.28 per month for electronics (assuming power consumption levels of consumer electronics stay at the same level).

Here are some other energy usage tidbits:

  • Lighting gobbles up 11.7 percent of a typical home’s electrical bill.
  • Another 11 percent of a home’s electrical cost is attributable to the HVAC system.
  • A flat-screen TV uses 120 watts of power when it’s on. It also draws 40 watts when it is off. To put it in perspective for the homeowner, it’s like having a 40-watt light bulb on 24 hours a day.
  • Certain shade control systems can draw up to 200 watts of continuous power — all day, even when they are not in use.
  • A DVD player uses up to 25 watts of continuous power.

Looking to decrease your bill? Enjoy energy savings through power management, irrigation control, or temperature control, while doing your part to reduce impact on the environment. The decrease in your power bill can start with home technology.



  • An audio system can draw up to 400 watts of power when in use.