Reduce household electricity use by 5 percent

Sustainability Challenge
This challenge is worth 1 YouSustain Award () each time it is completed.


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Length: 30 days.
Associated with: Conservation and Efficiency
The average home of industrialized nations consumes 10,000 kWh/year. Part of the reason for this high number is the amount of electricity that is wasted, which we may or may not be aware of.

A reduction of 5% is very easy to achieve and is only about 40 kWh in a month for the average home. The best way to measure your changes is to have a record of your usage history, from utility bills or calling the provider for your records. If your home uses electric heating or cooling, tracking the changes will be a bit more difficult because outdoor temperature changes from month to month will have a large effect. In this case it's best to look at the same month of the previous year, but also account for any percentage increase of the previous month as well.

Tips for reducing electricity use

  • Lighting accounts for about 9% of home electricity use, so is a good first target. Switching to CF bulbs and keeping only the lights on you need could get you a 5% reduction.
  • Computers and monitors that are always left on, and not put into sleep mode, consume a lot of energy. A computer, and monitor, that are on 24 hours a day could consume as much as 100 or 150 kWh per month.
  • A clothes dryer uses around 5 kWh per hour of use. Hang-drying 8 loads in a month would save 5%.
  • Turn off electronics at the power-bar when not in use. Some studies have shown that up to 75% of the energy consumed by electronics is when they are turned off. The exact amount of energy savings is hard to estimate on average, but try this and watch your electricity bill.


The estimated impact each time this challenge is completed: 28 kg / 62 lbs CO2 reduced and saving up to $3!
All completions of this challenge have reduced approximately 10.75 tons CO2 and saved up to $1152!

Administrative Details

Current members: 122
Created: 2008-01-21 15:06:42
Administrators: NeilT
Sustainability Challenge
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