What electricity’s usage is normal for a Houston home?
Normal usage for a Houston home is a relative concept. Different houses are different sizes, are of different ages, and have different large appliances. Even holding these factors constant, different households use different amounts of energy. Still it’s useful to know what normal electricity usage is and how your use compares.
Since square footage is such a large factor in a home’s electricity usage, the average is a helpful number to know. The Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan areas have similar housing stock. In the Oncor service area which serves a swath of North Texas, the average home built between 2010 and 2016 is 2,613 square feet.
The average electricity usage for Texas homes in 2018 was 1,176 kWh per month. At an average rate of 11.2 cents per kilowatt hour, the average electricity bill was $131.63. Complete data for 2019 is not available.
Interestingly, Texas consumes more than the US average (914 kWh) but has a lower average bill ($117.85). This is because the average Texas electricity price is lower than the national average (12.87 cents).
How do seasonal temperature changes impact electricity usage?
Normal electricity usage varies throughout the year. Changes in outdoor temperature cause fluctuation in how your home uses energy.
“The residential end-use sector has the largest seasonal variance, with significant spikes in demand every summer and winter,” the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. “Virtually all homes that have air conditioning use electricity as the main source of cooling in the summer, while winter heating needs are met by a variety of fuels. Some homes use electric resistance heating and electric heat pumps, but even homes with other heating fuels such as natural gas or fuel oil still use some electricity to power furnace fans, boiler circulation pumps, and compressors.”
2018 Texas electricity usage peaked in July and August topping 153 gigawatt-hours each month. Usage nearly reached that in January at 149 gigawatt-hours. Between these peak periods, electricity usage fell as temperatures grew milder and increased as the weather became more extreme.
What influences your home’s electricity usage?
Again, square footage is an enormous factor in your home’s usage. Because the age of the home also plays a critical role, certain past building practices have been found to waste energy. For example, as building codes developed over time, more energy efficient materials become industry standards. An older home’s original windows and insulation do not regulate temperature as well as today’s products.
Similarly, older appliances such as HVAC systems, laundry appliances, and refrigerators from a decade ago consume far more energy than newer models. Newer electronics, sensors, and more efficient motors manage energy usage much more efficiently and cost much less to run.
Bring down your electricity bill
You may look at your electricity bill to find you consume more energy than the average 1,176 kWh per month. If your home is of average size and age, examine your insulation, windows, and doors. Consider replacing older appliances with Energy Star rated models . For some projects that involve replacing your appliances, upgrading the HVAC system or replacing windows are best left to professionals. However, some tasks like recaulking leaky windows and replacing weather stripping around doors are easy for most homeowners.
You should also compare your current retail electricity plan to those listed at http://www.texaselectricityratings.com. You can save money each month by switching to a power plan that better fits your family’s normal usage.