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


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.