Identifying trends in the use of domestic appliances from household electricity consumption measurements

Results are presented from a monitoring study of the electricity consumption of a sample of UK domestic buildings. Five-minutely average whole house power consumption was recorded for 72 dwellings at five sites over a 2-year monitoring period. The mean annual electricity consumption for the households increased significantly by 4.5% (t = 1.9; p < 0.05, one-tailed) from the first to the second year of monitoring. New techniques are developed which estimate the electricity consumption of different appliance groups, based on analysis of the five-minutely monitored data. The overall increase in electricity consumption is attributed to a 10.2% increase in the consumption of ‘standby’ appliances (such as televisions and consumer electronics) and a 4.7% increase in the consumption of ‘active’ appliance (such as lighting, kettles and electric showers). The consumption of different energy user groups (low, medium and high) is also investigated and low and high users are identified as contributing to the overall increase in consumption. The need for further investigation, such as quantitative and qualitative studies, to improve understanding in domestic electricity consumption is discussed.