This Electric Life

Do you know your home’s base load electricity use?

First, what is the definition of base load electricity use (aka baseline consumption)?

Electricity base load is the amount of electricity used in providing routine needs for your household such as operating everyday appliances and electronics: the refrigerator, clothes washer, dryer, lights, cook top, oven, televisions and DVR (digital video recorders such as DISH or DIRECT TV receiver). This energy use is differentiated from heating and cooling use, which is considered seasonal use.

In the San Juan Islands, summer is the best time to calculate your home’s base load electricity because we are not using any heating or cooling.  Even if you are heating with propane or wood during the heating season, now is the time because many propane or wood furnaces have associated electronics.

At my home, we have electric heat and it’s off for the season.  I have been monitoring my electric usage for the last several days.  We are a household of two adults and our average usage over the past 6 days was 17 kWh/day.  So, this is what we use on a normal, everyday basis for all our household needs: our base load.

Now that I know my base load I want to find out what makes up those 17kWh.

What in my house is using electricity to contribute to the 17 kWhs?

Another way to frame this number is to think that it’s equivalent to 17  – 100 watt light bulbs on for 10 hours a day (100w x17 x 10hrs = 17,000 whrs = 17kWh).

I know I don’t have 17 – 100 watt light bulbs on for 10 hours a day!

So, what is on???

Stay tuned for my detective work figuring out what in my house is consuming to the tune of 17 kWh per day.