Power-Hungry America: Why US Households Consume More Electricity than Any Other Nation

The USA Leads the World in Household Electricity Usage


According to a recent article on ShrinkThatFootprint.com, the average US household consumes approximately 975 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month, which is three times more than the average household in the United Kingdom. The article suggests that the reason for this difference may be the size of US domiciles, which are much bigger than those of the UK. The average US home is 2,164 square feet compared to 818 square feet for the average UK home. However, a bigger factor could be that the US has a much higher percentage of houses that use electricity for room heating, water heating, stoves, ovens, and clothes drying.

In the US, approximately 26% of houses use electricity as their only energy source, compared to around 9% for the UK. The article states that this may be due to the fact that many areas in the US are essentially uninhabitable and hostile to unprotected life, making critical infrastructure much harder to keep alive without air conditioning. Additionally, people’s homes have been redesigned to accommodate air conditioning, with the most obvious example being the disappearance of upper-story “sleeping porches.”

Another interesting point that the article raises is that US buildings and equipment tend to be less energy-efficient than those in other countries. For example, clothes must be dried in a machine, not on a line, and temperatures are kept t-shirt-warm indoors even in winter. Furthermore, the article explains that electricity pricing structures are more complex in North America than they are in Europe, with bills including variable fees, local access fees, transmission charges, rate riders, and administrative fees.

Overall, the article suggests that the US’s high electricity usage is due to a combination of factors, including large domiciles, a high percentage of houses that use electricity for heating and other functions, redesigned homes that have become reliant on air conditioning, and less energy-efficient buildings and equipment.

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