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How Much Is Your Electricity Consumption?

To determine the solar system size required to power your home or office, you must first determine your electricity consumption. At Moosehead Solar in Greenville, Maine, we advise that you figure out your daily energy use. By estimating your usage, we can figure out the number of batteries and solar panels you require for an off-grid or grid-tie system.


House and Various Appliances Graphic

Three Solar Panels

Appliance Wattage

The wattage of most appliances is located on the bottom or back of the equipment or on its nameplate. The number listed is the maximum power drawn by the appliance. Many have a range of settings so the actual power consumed depends on the setting used at any one time. The following is the typical wattage for common appliances:

• Aquarium - 50 - 1,210
• Ceiling Fan - 65 - 175
• Clock Radio - 10
• Clothes Iron - 1,000 - 1,800
• Coffee Maker - 900 - 1,200
• Computer CPU - 120
• Dehumidifier - 785
• Dishwasher - 1,200 - 2,400
• Dryer - 1,800 - 5,000
• Flat Screen TV - 133
• Furnace Fan - 750
• Hair Dryer - 1,200 - 1,875
• Heater (Portable) - 750 - 1,500
• Laptop - 50
• Microwave Oven - 750 - 1,100
• Monitor - 150
• Projection TV - 170
• Radio/Stereo - 70 - 400
• Refrigerator (16 cu. ft.) - 725
• Toaster - 800 - 1,400
• Toaster Oven - 1,225
• Vacuum - 1,000 - 1,440
• VCR/DVD - 17- 21
• Washer - 350 - 500
• Water Heater (40 gal.) - 4,500 - 5,500
• Water Pump (Deep Well) - 250 - 1,000
• Window Fan - 55 - 250

Estimate Usage

To estimate an appliance's energy usage, use this formula: (Wattage x Hours Used Per Day) / 1,000 = Daily Kilowatt Hours (kwh). For a refrigerator, to estimate the number of hours it actually runs at its maximum, divide the total time it is plugged in by three. The following are wattage usage examples:

• Flat Screen TV: 120 Watts x 4 Hours/Day = 480 Watt Hours Daily
• Personal Computer: 120 Watts x 2 Hours/Day = 240 Watt Hours Daily
• Five 60 Watt Light Bulbs: (5 x 60 = 300) 300 Watts x 4 Hours/Daily = 1,200 Watt Hours Daily
• Deep Well Pump: 1,000 Watts x 30 Minutes/Day = 500 Watt Hours Daily