Gigawatts to Homes ```Name: John P. M. Status: Other Age: 30s Location: N/A Country: N/A Date: 2001 ``` Question: Using average consumption figures, how many homes could be powered by 319.5 gigawatts of electricity. I am a journalist working on a story a about power plant construction in South Carolina, and am trying to give readers an idea of how much power capacity is projected to be available at the end of the year, according to the Electric Power Supply Association. Thanks. Replies: Giga is a thousand million or 1,000,000,000. A house with a 200 Ampere line at 110 Volts can use a maximum of 22,000 Watts. The rest is division: Number of Houses 319.5 x 1,000,000,000 / (22,000) = 14.5+ Million Homes. The assumption in all of this is that all homes are running at max power simultaneously, surely not during the work day but a better approximation during the air conditioning season. Dr. Harold Myron There is a lot of information out there on the "web". I searched the terms "energy consumption residential" and "energy consumption home" using the search engine: www.google.com and found these three rather massive documents. I am not sure that the data are framed in a format you require, but the sites below are a place to start: www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/recs97_ce/97tblce.html www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/25opec/anniversary.html http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/contents.html Vince Calder I can give you some numbers from my experience. There are two of us (retired) with an outdoor hot tub, full-house air conditioning, 4 TV's, 2 computers, gas heat. We are probably fairly typical. Our electrical bill says we use an average of 20 kW with a maximum of 31 kW (in December). So 1 kW would meet our average needs and perhaps 2 kW would meet our maximum loads. 1 kW per person is generally considered adequate. 320 gigaWatts = 320,000,000,000 W = 3.2 x 10E11 W = 3.2 x 10E8 kW would therefore power 1.6 x 10E8 homes. With two people per home, this amounts to 320 million people, somewhat more than the population of the United States. Of course, in our society a large amount of electricity is used by public needs and by industry, so 320 GW would be inadequate for the country as a whole. Best, Dick Plano... Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012