Gigawatts to Homes
Name: John P. M.
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.
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
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
consumption residential" and "energy consumption home" using the search
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
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
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
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
Best, Dick Plano...
Click here to return to the Engineering Archives
Update: June 2012