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Power Consumption and Kitchen Appliances,

Power Consumption and Kitchen Appliances

When you are considering solar and saving money, it’s useful to know how many watts your kitchen appliances typically consume. Do you know how many watts your kitchen appliances require to run? For that matter, do you understand watts?  Watts are a term to describe a unit of power.  BC Hydro charges electricity costs by the kWH (Kilowatt hour),so 1 kWH = 1000 watts.  Newer appliances have an EnerGuide rating which explains the energy consumption of a major appliance is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) per year: the lower the number, the more efficient the model.

The following are descriptions of the average consumption of several common kitchen appliances.  With all appliances and your home overall, consumption depends on size, age, style and usage.  If you are like us and prefer an even closer estimation of your daily energy use, check out this handy cost calculator from BC Hydro.


The average refrigerator can consume up to 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, or about one to two kWh per day. In general, the newer the appliance, the more energy efficient,  the lower the kWh. For an Energy Star rated refrigerator, the average is about 420 kWh/year. If you have an older refrigerator for instance, a refrigerator shipped in 1990 used an average of 956 kWh/year, more than double the new models. Several factors affect the power consumption of your refrigerator, including type, size, age, temperature set point (the colder you have it set, the more power it will use),and how it is used (the more the door is opened the more power is required to keep it cool). Note, top-freezer models are more energy-efficient than bottom-or-side-mounted models.


hest freezers are more energy-efficient than upright models and freezers with an automatic defrost function use more energy than manual models. The amount of energy required to operate a newer stand-alone freezer is about 350 kWh/year while an older model can use more than 400 kWh/year. If you have an older upright freezer, BC Hydro’s cost calculator estimates it will cost you more than $70/year to run. Think of all the savings you can anticipate by seeking solar options.


The exact amount of power needed to run a dishwasher depends on several factors, including age, Energy Star rating, size, setting used, and condition. The average, though, for a 1200-watt model with a load time of one hour is 1.2 kWh, which equates to almost 450 kWh annually. If you use the heated drying option for your dishwasher it essentially doubles the wattage needed. To reduce energy consumption, run your dishwasher with a full load only, but don’t overfill as the water needs room to circulate in order to work properly. You should also open the door as soon as the cycle is complete in order to accelerate the evaporation process and forego the heat drying setting.

Most homes today have dishwashers and can add to your monthly bills substantially. With an older model running one load per day, it could add up to more than $150 in usage per year. A newer Energy Star rated dishwasher will still cost almost $100.

Oven & Stovetop

Ovens are capable of using a lot of energy depending on several factors, including how high the temperature is set, how long the oven is on, and how often the oven door is opened. Convection ovens also use less energy as the heat circulates throughout the oven, decreasing cooking time. The average kWh/year of an oven from 1990 is just under 800 kWh/year while an oven from 2010 will use just over 500 kWh/year.

According to the cost calculator, a new oven used for just two hours per day will cost well over $100 per year to operate. Factor in your holiday baking and newfound love of baking bread and your costs will rise significantly.


Microwaves are energy efficient, but just how much wattage they use depends on their size, how often they are used, and the power setting that is used. If your microwave is 1200 watts and it’s used for one hours per day that equates to 428 kWh/year. If your microwave is smaller, it will use substantially less energy.

When purchasing appliances look for those with the lowest EnerGuide rating.  By choosing solar let the sun take care of the costs of keeping your perishables cold or frozen, the cooking of delicious meals  and dishes and laundry washed and dried.  Choose Solar to reduce your household expenses and sleep well at night knowing you are using a 100% clean, renewable energy source and reducing your carbon footprint.   

Come back next month and we will explore the energy costs of mechanical systems, power tools and more!

Riverside Energy Systems installs and maintains grid-connected and off-grid solar energy systems.  If you are looking for information about solar, chances are we can help with the answers.  Find out more information on Riverside’s products and services and how you can start saving.  Contact us here.  We’re here to help.

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