Domestic energy consumption is the amount of energy that is spent on the different appliances used within family houses. In an average household in a temperate climate,[clarification needed] The average energy in a (Belgian) household a year consists of 20000kW-h. These figures are surely dependent on size of housing electricity, location and local weather. Other figures are similarly dependent on unspecified factors. The yearly use of household energy can be composed as follows:

Average domestic energy consumption per household in temperate climates
Heating 12000 kW·h/year (1400 Watt)
Hot water 3000 kW·h/year (340 Watt)
Cooling/refrigeration 1200 kW·h/year (140 Watt)
Lighting 1200 kW·h/year (140 Watt)
Washing and drying 1000 kW·h/year (110 Watt)
Cooking 1000 kW·h/year (110 Watt)
Miscellaneous electric load 600 kW·h/year (70 Watt)

Note that for households in the developing world these overview data are incorrect (area heating almost reduced to zero, and less and different consumption of energy).[clarification needed]

Daily domestic energy consumption[edit | edit source]

Below, fairly accurate[clarification needed] estimates are noted for a general[clarification needed] private home in the temperate climate. In addition, rough non equations are noted about the energy requirements for homes in the (sub)tropical climates. The latter however may not be as accurate as the starting numbers have been derived from a table for the temperate climates.[clarification needed] They however give a rough idea. Finally, it should be noted that the latter equations do not differentiate between subtropical climates and tropical climates; again some differences may be present here as well, translating in an even greater margin of error. However, the numbers are only designed to give a general indication and in this they will likely succeed.[clarification needed]

In temperate climates[edit | edit source]

As can be seen from the table above, a private home in a temperate climate generally needs around 20,000 kilowatt-hours per year (20000 kW·h/year) to fulfill its energy needs.[clarification needed] people use 10 to the 11 watts of power in the US

In (sub)tropical climates[edit | edit source]

As can be seen from the table, a private home in a subtropical climate generally needs around 8000 kW·h/a (1 kW) to fulfill in its energy needs.

Domestic electricity consumption[edit | edit source]

Other than the domestic energy consumption, the domestic electricity consumption is the amount of electricity is used within the home. Space heating apparatus that work on other energy sources (eg gas, wood from gas stoves, gas heaters, wood burners,...) are thus not included. The electricity consumption needs to be known to be able to calculate the electricity one needs to generate to create an off-the-grid system.

Amount and size of powerplants required[edit | edit source]

As stated, for practical (off-the-grid microgeneration) use, rather than the domestic energy requirements, the domestic electricity requirements need to be taken.

Amount of solar panels required[edit | edit source]

According to documents by Practical Action, and according to, the power generated by solar panels is about 10 watts per square metre of solar collector (10 W/m²).

Depending on the location where the panels are employed (tropics or temperate climates), more or less area is required.

Amount of wind turbines required[edit | edit source]

To generate power, the average autonomous house needs only one small horizontal axis wind generator (HAWT), 5 metres or less in diameter. On a 30 metre high tower, this turbine can provide enough power to supplement solar power on cloudy days. Commercially available wind turbines use sealed, one-moving-part AC generators and passive, self-feathering blades for years of operation without service.

The largest advantage of wind power is that larger wind turbines have a lower per-watt cost than solar cells, provided there is wind. However, location is critical. Just as some locations lack sun for solar cells, some locations lack sufficient wind for an economical turbine installation. In the Great Plains of the United States a 10 metre turbine can supply enough energy to heat and cool a well-built all-electric house. Economic use in other areas requires research, and possibly a site-survey.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Microgeneration

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Paul Gipe, "Wind Power for Home and Business"

External links[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Keywords energy conservation, energy, energy efficiency
SDG SDG07 Affordable and clean energy
Authors KVDP
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related subpages, pages link here
Impact 667 page views
Created June 25, 2011 by KVDP
Modified April 13, 2024 by Kathy Nativi
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