May 22, 2014

What Can You Do With A Month’s Worth of Electricity?

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Jordan Wirfs-Brock/Inside Energy

An average American household uses 903 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each month.

That’s enough to power your household appliances and electronics, but what else can you do with 903 kWh?

Here are some unusual ideas:

  • You could use it to run your standard conventional oven on cleaning mode for the entire month.


  • Or, converting kWh into food calories, it would be the equivalent of eating a stick of butter every 41 minutes. For the whole month. (That’s 1,062 sticks of butter, if you’re keeping track.)


  • It’s also the amount of energy it would take to launch a Volkswagen Beetle into orbit* next to the International Space Station.


Next time, we’ll explore where your electricity comes from, and what it looks and feels like.

*Nerd note: It’s roughly the difference in gravitational potential between a VW orbiting at 370 km and a VW on the Earth’s surface — to actually launch it, you’d have to overcome air resistance, and would probably need a bit more than 903 kWh.

  • Brendan O

    Actually there is a secret that is successfully suppressed from the mass media. As revealed in 65,000 crony emails between the CA pub utility commission top officials and Pacific Gas & Electric top management officials spanning 2010 t0 into 2014 and released into the public realm by order of a judge in early 2015 in a case not related to this topic, some emails discussed the wifi microchipped smart meters have the capacity to inflate utility usage; two different modalities were described one of which was triggered by a certain degree of cold temperature, as in winter weather, triggered [if I recall correctly] a doubling of usage. It reveals that possibly the proprietary microchip technology has the capacity to be programmed to inflate utility usage, and do so in multiple ways and with varied triggers. The PGE emails were brief and did not elaborate nor could I gins any info about it from the CPUC though I wrote four letters to different CPUC none of whom responded. The info about the emails is in an excellent short-ish article called the Structure Report and is a second of two articles about the released crony emails. These can be found at : along with other relevant info. This is worth knowing about as your bill could be inflated gradually 1%, 2%,3% without really attracting your attention. But only privately
    owned utility companies probably would endeavor to profit from this wifi smart-chipped meter scam potential, I assume.