Energy consumption in Spanish households

clasificación energía hogares españolesTurning on the television, making a cup of coffee, exercising, the alarm clock going off… Electricity is undoubtedly one of the engines that move and drive our lives. To live is to consume energy. Now, thanks to the consumption data for the energy that each of us uses, cross-referenced with studies carried out by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the Consumer’s Organisation (OCU) and the Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings (IDAE), it’s possible to establish patterns and find out how Spanish households consume energy. In today’s article, we’ll show you how Spaniards consume the most energy and which household appliances consume the most, citing data collected by the IDAE (a public institute that reports to the Ministry of Industry) and an article published by the OCU.

This winter, with the arrival of storm Filomena, we’ve witnessed an extraordinary rise in electricity prices, and there has even been talk of one of the most expensive bills in history. The year-on-year increase in the price per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity reached 40.6% in the first 15 days of January 2021, according to FACUA-Consumers in Action’s analysis of the development of the VPSC, or Voluntary Price for Small Consumers, semi-regulated tariff. In this period, the kWh has averaged 18.82 cents (including taxes), compared to 13.39 cents a year ago. With the average price per kWh for the first fortnight of January, the average user’s monthly bill would be almost 20 euros higher than in the same period of last year 2020.

Therefore, the bill would amount to 88.06 euros, which represents an increase of 29.1% compared to the first 15 days of 2020, when it stood at 68.20 euros.

Average user profile

The average user profile used by FACUA is the result of the analysis of several tens of thousands of bills from inhabited properties.

It consumes 366 kWh per month and has a contracted power of 4.4 kW.

How much energy is consumed in our homes?

The IDAE (Public institute that reports to the Ministry of Industry) has conducted one of the most comprehensive studies to date. With 9,000 interviews and 600 actual measurements, it shows that there are about 17 million inhabited properties in Spain. Spanish homes consume one fifth of all the energy consumed in Spain (and one quarter of the electricity).

How much energy a house consumes

How much money are we talking about? A Spanish home spends 990 euros on average on energy per year. The main cost is heating, which usually accounts for half of all consumption, and in an insulated house in a cold area this figure can be as high as 71%.

How do we use energy at home?

Following the same study carried out by the IDAE, the data are as follows:

  1. Heating: annual average of 5,172 kWh.
  2. Household appliances: 1,924 kWh.
  3. Hot water: 1,877 kWh.
  4. Kitchen: 737 kWh.
  5. Lighting:410 kWh.
  6. Air conditioning:170 kWh.

The most energy-consuming appliances and the stand-by trap

 These are the appliances that consume the most in our homes:

  1. Fridge: 662 kWh per year.
  2. Freezer: 563 kWh.
  3. Television: 263 kWh.
  4. Washing Machine: 255 kWh.
  5. Hairdryer: 255 kWh.
  6. Dishwasher: 246 kWh.

More than half of those interviewed by the IDAE didn’t know the energy rating of their appliances, and many are unaware of the cost of having appliances that aren’t switched on but are still plugged in (in standby mode).

A television that isn’t broadcasting images but with its little red light on, the blinking clock of a mini-stereo system that isn’t playing anything… These costs account for 231 kWh per year per household: 2.2% of our total consumption. To get an idea, this is the same amount of energy an oven uses in a year and much more than what a computer uses (172 kWh), according to data collected by the IDAE.



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