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EV Charging Uses Less Energy Than Water Heating In Typical US Household

Home charging of electric vehicles uses considerably less energy annually in a typical household in the US than home heating or water heating, according to new data from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Home charging of electric vehicles uses considerably less energy annually in a typical household in the US than home heating or water heating, according to new data from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

While this data shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has actually looked into the matter — as household heating and water heating are both very energy intensive processes — it should serve as a good data point to draw attention to when in a debate about electric vehicle charging needs.

To be clear, the data came from 2013 Nissan LEAF drivers, so it might vary a bit for people driving other electric cars (think: Teslas). Additionally, the results can clearly vary a great deal depending on many unique, personal, and household factors — ymmv.

Interestingly, the refrigerator in a “typical” US household apparently uses around half as much energy a year as electric vehicle charging does — 1,300 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, as compared to 2,800 kWh.

With regard to the figures the US Department of Energy found to represent the household heating and water heating needs of a typical US household, those are 11,300 kWh and 4,700 kWh, respectively.

I’ll use this opportunity right here to note that while rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems meant to offset the use of grid electricity can be quite expensive (especially when large-capacity energy storage systems are “needed”), solar water heating systems are a good deal more affordable and often possess a fairly rapid payback period. This all depends, of course, on where one is located, but it may be worth checking out what your options are if you’re wanting to cut back on your utility bills.

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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