THE ELECTRIC HOOKUP
The student will do the following:
1. Determine the wattage of various household appliances.
2. Calculate the number of kilowatt-hours used by appliances.
3. Identify the need to limit the use of appliances to conserve energy.
4. Identify costs per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of appliances.
3 class periods (over 2 weeks)
student sheets (included)
A list of all the energy-using appliances and equipment in an average American home
would show why it is estimated that a well-equipped home consumes as much as
35,000,000 British thermal units (BTU) of energy each year to operate. Considering that
much of this energy is wasted, a great opportunity for energy conservation exists.
The first step toward conservation is to gain a better understanding of the energy
consumption of each appliance or piece of equipment. An appliance's wattage is an
indicator of how much electricity is used while operating the appliance. An appliance
requiring 1,000 watts would use one kilowatt-hour of electricity during one hour of
operation. For example, the average mixer uses 127 watts. This 127 watts divided by
1000 watts/kilowatt-hour of operation equals 0.127 kilowatt-hour. If the mixer is used for
6 minutes, 0.0127 kilowatt-hour of electricity has been used.
1. Introduce the activity by sharing with the class the information in the background
2. Distribute the student sheet "Wattage Ratings," included. Have the students bring in
wattage ratings from various appliances around their homes. Ask each student to
choose appliances that use different amounts of energy and that produce different kinds
of energy from the electricity they use (e.g., heat, sound, or motion). Caution the
students not to move large appliances by themselves to obtain wattage ratings. Have
them seek permission and aid from parents to locate wattage rating information. (Check
the owner's manuals before moving appliances.) Use