Bright Ideas

Electricity usage

Over the past 12 months (February 16 – January 17) our household has used ~ 10,250 kwh of electricity.  This is well below the Canadian national average of 12,000 kwh but still high considering we have natural gas furnace and water heater.  Based on 2013 stats found here, our average household electricity usage is broken out like this.


Total Canadian Usage Percentage of Electricity Use
Appliances 188.7 72%
Lighting 54.5 21%
Space Cooling 19.4 7%
Totals 262.6 100%


This is based on Canadian averages so our actual usage is likely a bit different.  For example, we can see a definite jump in electricity usage through July, August and September.   By taking these 3 months out and dividing what is left by 9 we get an average of 761 kwh usage per month.  This puts our space cooling at ~1,100 kwh for those 3 months or just shy of 11% of our total usage for the year.  If we use the 2013 stats and adjust for cooling, our usage likely looks more like this.


Percentage of Electricity Use
Appliances 70%
Lighting 19%
Space Cooling 11%
Totals 100%


As a family, we are challenging ourselves to reduce our electricity consumption this year to 8,000kwh.  A big part of this reduction will be from upgrading our light bulbs.  At last count, we had 32 of the old 60 watt incandescent bulbs in our home.  By replacing these with 8 watt LED bulbs, lighting will potentially be reduced by up to 1,700 kwh for the year.  The remaining 550 kwh will come through changing habits in our household.


Aside from the obvious environmental benefits of reducing electricity usage, is there also and economic benefit?  The cost of LED bulbs have been reduced recently.  They can now be found for around $2 each and sales seem to be happening on a regular basis at all the major chains.  IN order to replace the 32 incandescent bulbs in our house, it will cost $64.  With a potential reduction of 1,700 kwh per year at 18.3 cents per kwh after delivery and taxes, the saving could be up to $311 in one year.  Can you say killer ROI?

We have budgeted light bulbs in March and continue looking for other ways to reduce our monthly bills.


Follow us on our journey.


Ike & Jen

5 thoughts on “Bright Ideas

  1. Thanks for summing up all the costs and savings in using LED lightbulbs! We have slowly been replacing light bulbs that blow out with LED’s. I think this year we will be fully switched over…I am excited to see the savings on our electric bill!

  2. I have been surprised at the rapidity that LED bulbs have come down in price. Is it because of subsidies or just better manufacturing and competition?

    Last year I went to the conference center when they were having a home and garden convention thing. Came away with tons of free CFL bulbs from the booths there. So, using them up first. Where those don’t fit I have been putting LEDs though.

    My electric company doesn’t say what an average use is, but I am pretty sure that my house is WAAY under the average.

    1. This Time article attributes the reduction in price to better manufacturing and volume. Makes sense to me, as new technology becomes more mainstream the cost to manufacture and ship to outlets is reduced.

  3. Awesome job!!! I love how technology is rapidly pushing down prices. I can’t wait for Tesla to throw on solarpanels on their cars and make roof shingles with solarpanels. It’s going to be amazing!!!

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