Calculating House Load

There has been a lot of attention lately on personal energy consumption and efforts to reduce it. I thought that I would take a couple minutes to explain how to calculate the electrical load of your house.

Load (sometimes also called demand) refers to the amount of power required to supply an electrical circuit and is measured in Watts, Kilowatts, or in my case at work, Megawatts. Electrical energy is measured in Kilowatthours, which is equivalent to the load integrated over time.

To get the load of your home:

  1. Read the number on your electric meter and note the time.
  2. Read your meter again at least an hour later.
  3. Subtract the first meter reading from the second.
  4. Divide by the number of hours between readings.

The number you arrive at is the load of your home. I checked mine over 48 hours and came up with 1500 Watts. The peak load (demand) is certainly more than this. Without using a power meter it is hard to tell but I would estimate around 5000 Watts.

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