The financial and environmental costs of using utilities add up fast. In many cases – and we’re all guilty of this – we don’t realize how much we’re consuming until the utility bill shows up. We scratch our heads and think, “wow, there’s no way I used 897 kilowatt-hours of electricity this month.” (The average U.S. household uses that much each month and 10,766 kWh per year.)

Fortunately, there are several in-home tech products that will save you money on your utility bills and help the environment at the same time.

How Much Electricity Do You Use Around the House?

Green technology that saves money on utilities

Each month, your utility bill is calculated based on how many kilowatt-hours are consumed.

So just how far does one kilowatt-hour go?

A kilowatt-hour, which is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for one hour, could power ten incandescent 100-watt lightbulbs for an hour. One kwh costs about $0.12 (so leaving the lights on, despite what your mother said about turning them off to save money, isn’t as expensive as it seems). Check out this table, which lists common household appliances and how much energy they use in an average month:

Appliance average kWh per hour used each month and average cost

 Appliance Appliance Average kWh used each monthAverage cost each month
Smartphone.08 kWh$0.01
Tablet.9 kWh$0.11
One LED Lightbulb1.2 kWh$0.14
Big-screen TV2.5 kWh$0.30
Wireless modem and router7.5 kWh$0.90
Gaming System8.3 kWh$1.00
One 60-watt Incandescent Lightbulb18.3 kWh$2.20
Desktop Computer25.0 kWh$3.00
Refrigerator29.1 kWh$3.50
Washer and Dryer69.44 kWh$8.33
Water Heater416.7 kWh$50.00
Heating and cooling640.5 kWh$76.86

 

So does that mean you have to put on a sweater or take a cold shower? Not necessarily. If you know what you’re doing, you can save hundreds of kWh each month by utilizing the latest in-home technology.

Heating and Cooling

Average Savings: Between $131 and $145 per year

Green technology that saves money on utilities 2 (2)

Light Use

Average Savings: Between $80 and $120 per year

Games, TVs and Other Appliances

Average Savings: Between $60 and $80 per year

Laundry

Average Savings: Between $75 and $125 per year

Green technology that saves money on utilities 2

How Much Water Does Your Household Use?

While estimates vary based on location, the average U.S. household uses about 90 gallons of water every day. Most of that water goes right down the toilet – literally. Toilet flushing and showers are the two biggest culprits when it comes to wasting water, and dishwashers, washing machines and outdoor watering are right behind them. Check out this chart to figure out how much water the average American household uses each year and how much it costs (tap water costs about $0.004 per gallon).

 ApplianceAverage Gallons Used Each TimeAverage Cost Per Use
Bath36 gallons$0.14
Shower (10 Minutes) with ordinary shower head50 gallons$0.20
Shower (10 Minutes) with water-saving showerhead20 gallons$0.08
Dishwasher (non-ENERGY STAR)16 gallons$0.06
Dishwasher (ENERGY STAR)6 gallons$0.02
Toilet Flush (Regular)3 gallons$0.01
Toilet Flush (low-flow)1.6 gallonsLess than $.01
Outdoor watering (30 minutes)60 gallons$0.24

Other than cutting down on water consumption by investing in ENERGY STAR appliances, doing fewer loads of laundry and taking shorter showers, there are a few devices you can add to your home to drastically reduce your water consumption.

Showers and Faucets

Average Savings: About $100 per year

Green technology that saves money on utilities 3

Toilets

Average Savings: About $100 per year

Smart Home Security

Average Savings: Up to 20% of your normal bill

Beige siding house exterior with covered porch and trimmed bushes in front. View of soft blue staircase with narrow walkway.

Original article from Redfin

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