Tracking Your Home's Power Consumption

A digital electric meter.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 35-200
What You'll Need
Power monitor
Notepad and pen
What You'll Need
Power monitor
Notepad and pen

One good way to watch your home's power consumption is by using an energy monitor. There are many such items on the market that provide specific details about how much power each appliance is eating, and what it's costing you. You can also monitor your electric intake using the utility company's electricity meter attached to the outside of your home, however, you won't be able to calculate individual appliance consumption.

Step 1 - Take a Reading

Your home's power consumption is tracked by your electricity meter on the outside of your home. It doesn't, however, read the consumption of individual units and appliances. If you are using an energy meter, hook it up and use the instructions to calibrate it with your home's electrical system.

Using your notepad, begin a log to track your usages. If you don't have an energy meter, you can track the numbers as you get them from the electricity meter outside of your home. The home's power consumption is regulated by the utility company's meter, which can be used to track your daily usages.

Step 2 - Keep a Record

Your home's power consumption is tracked in kilowatt hours by your electric company. There are several smaller meters under this that track the amount of time and watts used. These are the numbers you are going to record at regular intervals to see what you are taking on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If you have an energy monitor, you can even track individual appliances and what their using independently.

Step 3 - Rate Your Appliances

Try to locate the appliances in your home that are raising your home's power consumption costs. You can figure this out with an energy monitor, or by shutting everything off. You can then use one appliance at a time, and get a reading from the outdoor meters results. Do this with each major appliance in the home and record your findings. This will only need to be done once to calculate what appliances are inefficient.

If you find you have an appliance that is using a lot of electricity, replace it as soon as you can. A good example of power consumption is an old projection television that has three small televisions in it. It runs about the same power as four refrigerators. You will want to replaced it with a newer energy-efficient flat-screen unit to lower your overall power consumption.

Step 4 - Compare over Time

Tracking your home's power consumption will give you a good idea of your family's habits and what is using the most power in the home when it is turned on. You can track this on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, and get an overview of your averages. Once you have your average for usage over time, you can then adjust your habits or upgrade the appliances in your home to run more efficiently.