Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More on Clotheslines

Today's Oregonian says that clothes driers use 6% of U.S. electricity usage. The U.S. uses on average 3.3 Tera Watts, so that's 200 billion Watts just for clothes driers, or an incredible 650 Watts/person. Or 480 kW-hr/month.

If electricity costs 10 cents per kiloWatt-hour, as it does here in Portland, that's $48/month. Per person. Yikes.

That is to say, it's as if each and every one of us were constantly and continually burning six-and-a-half 100 Watt light bulbs just to keep our clothes dry. Every single minute of every day.


By the way, this same Wikipedia article says that in 1999 computers used 13% of total U.S. electricity consumption, expected to grow to 35-50% by 2020.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Someone pointed out in the comments that the 6% number for electricity use by clothes dryers is probably of total residential consumption, and that seems to be the case. Here is some EIA data from 2001: 107 million households in that year consumed 1.140 billion kW-hr, or 130 billion Watts, or 0.13 TW. Or only ~5% of total US electricity consumption. That sounds low, but that's what I get. Air-conditioning and refrigeration each accounted for 14% of the US total. Electric clothes dryers consumed 66 B Kw-hr, or 5.8% of total residential usage.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The 6% figure is probably referring to 6% of household consumption. So it's not quite as bad as all that. Still a huge amount of electricity and pollution.