Home Energy Inventory


This activity is an extension of the electricity unit taught in the eighth grade. As the students study about energy conversions involved with electricity, they can also become involved in the usage of energy in their homes. After the students collect information on several home appliances, they create a spreadsheet to calculate the energy output of each individual appliance and the total energy output for all appliances. This information can then be converted from hourly usage to cost per kilowatt hour and then put into a daily or monthly cost analysis.


  • The spreadsheet is a useful tool for doing mathematical calculations on multiple data items.
  • Energy consumption can be monitored through individual appliances.
  • Cost analysis of home energy consumption can provide useful information for conservation of electricity.


  • Research and record on a data chart the name of appliance, power (kW) and time of usage (h).
  • Create spreadsheet cells for the Name of Appliance, Power (kW), Time of Usage (h), Energy (kWh), Average Hourly Cost, Daily Cost and Monthly Cost.
  • Use the spreadsheet to calculate the Total Monthly Cost of all appliances.
  • Analyze the hourly usage and cost of each appliance and apply this analysis to future conservation.


  • Discuss the many sources of electricity and the current dependence on fossil fuels for electricity.
  • Discuss the practical application of a home energy inventory.
  • Gather necessary data from a minimum of six appliances that are commonly used in the home.
  • Use a personal home electric bill to calculate the cost of a kilowatt-hour.

On the computer:

  • Set up a spreadsheet using the data collected from home. For the energy (kWh), use the formula (energy (kWh) = power (kW) * time (h)).


  • Analyze the monthly usage of each appliance and the total usage of all appliances researched. Apply this analysis to the future conservation of electricity.
  • Analyze the cost of the appliance usage and discuss ways to reduce the monthly electric bill.

Related resources

  • Glencoe Physical Science, 1997.