Which Appliance is Consuming the Most Energy in Your Home?

We all know it requires a significant amount of energy to power a home, but have you ever wondered which appliance is using the most? We decided to do a little research and find out which household appliances are the top five highest energy consumers and if there’s a way to better control your usage to lower your costs.

In 2021, the average U.S. household spent $122 per month on electricity, with the average U.S. resident consuming 892 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And while this number varies from state to state, depending on the local cost of electricity and the household’s electricity needs, the average household has the potential to save on their electricity costs. In some cases, residents only actually use around 65% of what they spend every month with the other 35% going to waste due to “vampire loads”.

So which appliances are making your energy bill so high and how can you reduce your energy spend to save money? Let’s take a look.

Appliances in order of energy consumption from highest to lowest:

  • Heating and Cooling – Coming in at up to a whopping 45-50%, depending on the climate where you live, your heating and cooling system requires a lot of energy to maintain the correct temperature in your home.
  • How can I help control it? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save 10% on your energy bill just by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day. Consider turning down your thermostat while you’re asleep at night or away during the day. A smart thermostat can be programmed to make those adjustments each day so you can “set it and forget it.” Also, check out these tips for efficient HVAC use.


  • Water Heater – if you have an electric water heater, with all the laundry, bathing and dish washing going on, it is likely the second highest consumer of electricity, using up to 12% of your energy spend.
  • How can I help control it? Washing laundry on the lowest temperature appropriate for the load will give your water heater a break, as well as utilizing energy-efficient appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. You can also install water saving shower heads and spigots so less hot water is consumed with each use.


  • Lighting – Believe it or not, lighting accounts for up to 9% of energy consumption in today’s household.
  • How can I help control it? Consider switching out your old light bulbs to LEDs. They use five times less energy and last up to 15 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. By upgrading just five of your most-used bulbs, you can save up to $75 per year.


  • Refrigerator – it doesn’t actually require a significant amount of energy to run a refrigerator, but it still consumes about 8% of your energy spend because it is always on.
  • How can I help control it? Aside from keeping the refrigerator door closed as often as possible, upgrading to an energy-efficient appliance is the best way to consume less energy via your refrigerator. Look for a machine with the ENERGY STAR® label to find one guaranteed to be the most energy efficient.


  • Washer and Dryer – it’s probably no surprise that your washer and dryer are in the top five of energy consuming appliances. Of course, it depends on how frequently you wash laundry, but when they are used, washers and dryers require a lot of energy, up to 5% of your energy usage, to get the job done.
  • How can I help control it? Try to use the lowest heat setting that is appropriate for your loads. Take advantage of nice weather by air drying your laundry when possible. And consider upgrading to more energy-efficient machines.

The U.S. Department of Energy offers a convenient Energy Consumption Cost Calculator which is an excellent tool for helping to calculate your energy spend. If you’d like to learn more about assessing your energy usage, check out this article.

Lastly, you can protect your whole home with fixed-rate electricity and natural gas plans from a supplier, like AEP Energy, to keep your energy bills safe from rising energy rates. To learn more about what AEP Energy has to offer, please click here.

AEP Energy does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, freedom from error, or value of any information herein. The information presented is provided “as is”, “as available”, and for informational purposes only, speaks only to events or circumstances on or before the date it is presented, and should not be construed as advice, a recommendation, or a guarantee of future results. AEP Energy disclaims any and all liabilities and warranties related hereto, including any obligation to update or correct the information herein. Summaries and website links included herein (collectively, “Links”) are not under AEP Energy’s control and are provided for reference only and not for commercial purposes. AEP Energy does not endorse or approve of the Links or related information and does not provide any warranty of any kind or nature related thereto.

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