Is 1000 kWh per month a lot?

Quick answer: For an average home, 1000 kWh per month is on the higher side for electricity usage. The average US household uses about 900 kWh per month. So 1000 kWh or more is considered high and likely indicates opportunities to improve energy efficiency.

Average electricity usage per month

The amount of electricity a home uses per month varies significantly based on location, home size, number of residents, appliances, and energy efficiency. Here are some statistics on average monthly electricity usage:

  • According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average US home consumes about 900 kWh per month.
  • Homes in the South tend to use more electricity than other regions, averaging over 1,100 kWh per month.
  • West coast homes use the least electricity, around 600 kWh per month on average.
  • Larger homes with more occupants and appliances use more electricity. Large homes can use 1,500+ kWh monthly.
  • Efficient appliances like LED lights and Energy Star models reduce electricity usage.

So while the national average is around 900 kWh per month, usage varies significantly across homes. Regional climate differences, home size, and appliance efficiency all impact electricity use.

Is 1000 kWh per month high?

For most typical homes, 1,000 kWh per month is on the higher side of average. It’s about 10% above the national monthly average. Homes that use 1,000 kWh or more per month are generally considered high usage households.

Factors that can contribute to high electricity usage of 1,000+ kWh per month include:

  • Large homes over 2,500+ square feet
  • 4 or more occupants
  • Extensive appliance usage including multiple refrigerators, daily hot tub use, etc.
  • Frequent use of high-wattage appliances like electric stoves and dryers
  • Inefficient appliances, HVAC systems, lighting, etc.
  • Extreme weather conditions requiring extensive heating and cooling
  • Electric vehicles charged at home

Homes with several of these attributes will frequently use over 1,000 kWh per month. Improving energy efficiency can help reduce high electrical loads.

Tips for reducing electricity usage

If your home is using 1,000+ kWh monthly, here are some tips that can reduce your electricity usage and costs:

  • Switch to LED lighting – uses 75% less electricity than incandescents
  • Run full loads in dishwasher and washing machine
  • Replace old appliances and HVAC systems with Energy Star models
  • Use power strips to cut phantom load from electronics and chargers
  • Set thermostat to 78°F in summer, 68°F in winter
  • Seal air leaks around doors, windows, ducts, and pipes
  • Add insulation to attic and walls
  • Use shades and awnings to reduce cooling costs
  • Change AC filter monthly
  • Have an energy audit done to identify efficiency opportunities

Making a few of these electricity saving tweaks can help cut your usage significantly. Installing a home energy management system is another way to monitor usage and identify savings opportunities.

Average electricity usage by appliance

Knowing the average electrical consumption of common household appliances can help identify where the most electricity is being used in your home. Here are estimated kWh per month for typical appliances:

Appliance Average kWh per Month
Refrigerator 100
Electric water heating 400
Electric clothes dryer 143
LED lighting 10-20
AC unit (window) 100-500
Pool pump 500+
Electric vehicle charge 250-750

Larger appliances like AC units, water heaters, and pool pumps use significant electricity each month. Targetting the biggest electricity users for replacement or limited use can have a big effect on reducing your total usage.

Average electricity usage in major cities

Electricity consumption also varies significantly by location. Here are the average monthly residential electricity usages for major cities:

City Average kWh per month
Houston 1,200
Phoenix 1,150
San Antonio 1,100
Dallas 1,100
New York 700
Chicago 720
Baltimore 930
Boston 620
Denver 770
Seattle 880

Warmer southern cities like Houston and Phoenix use considerably more monthly electricity than northern cities for air conditioning needs. Improved insulation helps reduce this disparity.

Electricity usage by state

Average monthly electricity use also varies significantly by state. Here are the residential electricity usages by state:

State Average kWh per month
Louisiana 1,410
Alabama 1,310
Mississippi 1,260
Texas 1,240
South Carolina 1,210
Oklahoma 1,140
Arkansas 1,120
Tennessee 1,100
Georgia 1,100
Florida 1,070

The top electricity-using states are concentrated in the South where air conditioning drives higher summer loads. Lower usage states like California (550 kWh) and Washington (800 kWh) benefit from milder weather.

Electricity usage trends over time

Over the long term, average residential electricity usage in the US has increased significantly. Here are the trends over the past decades:

  • In 1960, the average home used around 4,500 kWh annually, or 375 kWh per month.
  • In 1978 usage peaked at around 7,100 kWh per year, or 592 kWh per month.
  • Through efficiency gains in the 1980s and 90s, usage declined to around 9,000 kWh annually, or 750 kWh per month.
  • The most recent EIA data shows usage has risen again to around 10,700 kWh per year, or 892 kWh per month.

While energy efficiency improvements helped reduce usage for a period, larger homes and more appliances have driven usage higher than ever before. Rising summertime electricity demand for air conditioning is also a likely contributor.

Factors that influence electricity usage

Many factors influence how much electricity a home requires on a monthly basis. The main factors include:

  • Climate and weather – Heating and cooling needs drive regional and seasonal variations.
  • Home size – Larger homes require more energy to heat, cool, and power.
  • Number of occupants – More residents use more appliances and energy.
  • Appliances and devices – More extensive appliance usage increases electric loads.
  • Home age and insulation – Older, drafty homes require more energy to heat and cool.
  • Energy efficiency – Advanced lighting, HVAC, appliances can reduce usage.

Homeowners have the most control over appliance usage and home energy efficiency upgrades to manage electricity consumption.

How to estimate your monthly kWh usage

If you want to estimate your home’s electricity usage, you can follow these steps:

  1. Inventory all electric appliances and devices
  2. Identify the rated wattage for each one
  3. Estimate the average daily usage hours for each
  4. Multiply the wattage by usage hours to get daily kWh used
  5. Sum the daily kWh for all appliances
  6. Multiply the daily total by 30 to estimate monthly kWh

For example, a typical refrigerator may be 100 watts and run 24 hours a day, so it uses 2.4 kWh daily. Do this calculation for all appliances and the total is your estimated monthly usage. Using less energy efficient appliances will result in higher usage.

Should you focus on reducing kWh or costs?

When seeking to reduce your electricity bill, some focus on decreasing kWh usage while others try to get the lowest rate per kWh. In most cases, homeowners will benefit most by focusing on reducing kWh consumption via energy efficiency. Here’s why it usually makes more sense to focus on usage rather than rates:

  • Energy efficiency provides long-term savings as long as you own the home.
  • Lower kWh usage benefits the environment through less energy generation.
  • Many efficiency upgrades like LEDs and added insulation provide other benefits like brighter light and more comfort.
  • Limited rate options are available in many areas, but usage can always be reduced.
  • Some rate savings may not justify the time required to frequently evaluate alternatives and switch plans.

While very high usage may justify comparing electrical rate options, most homes benefit more from reducing kWh consumption through efficiency upgrades.


A monthly electricity usage of 1,000 kWh is considered high in most homes. While the national average is around 900 kWh, usage over 1,000 kWh per month typically indicates opportunity for efficiency improvements.

Factors like home size, appliance usage, and climate cause significant variation in average monthly electricity consumption across states and cities. But most homeowners have an opportunity to reduce usage through upgrades like LED lighting, properly sealing and insulating their home, switching to efficient appliances, and modifying energy usage behaviors.

Focusing on reducing kWh consumption through efficiency improvements will provide most homeowners long-term energy savings and other benefits like improved lighting quality and comfort. Reducing usage also benefits the environment by lowering power generation needs.

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