September 29 2017

How Much of Each Energy Source Does It Take to Power Your Home

Powering our homes is of course an essential part of living our lives. We all need the right amount of energy to allow us to stay warm and utilise our various household appliances. Energy comes in many different forms, however, with numerous options available for providing the power the world needs, facilitated via much sought after jobs in the energy sector .


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There are energy sources like coal, solar, hydropower and more, all able to be used to keep our world running. But have you ever thought about, for example, how much wind power you would need to keep your lights on? Or how much coal would have to be converted to keep you and your family warm all year round? It’s fascinating to ponder, which led us to creating the below infographic, detailing and breaking down just how much of each energy source it would take to power your home. The results are very interesting, and in places quite surprising, especially when comparing the different energy sources with one another. Please do take a look:

How much energy to power your home

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The average UK home consumes around 4,000 kWh of electricity per year, which is slightly above the average global consumption as of 2010. The UK has nowhere near the highest energy consumption rate, however, with Canada and the USA leading the way with around 11,000 kWh per year.


  • To power one 100 watt bulb for a year would take 325 kg of coal. A light bulb uses 876 kWh of energy per year.
  • In a coal-fired power generator only 40% of coal’s thermal energy is converted to electricity.
  • There is 2,460 kWh of electricity generated per ton of coal.
  • A standard 500 megawatt coal power plant produces 3.5 billion kWh per year, which is enough energy to power 4 million light bulbs all year.
  • To power most of a household’s electrical appliances for a year it would take around 4,750 pounds of coal.


  • It would take around 18 solar panels to cover all energy usage for the average UK home.
  • The amount of solar energy a home needs depends on the size of the solar panel system.
  • An average UK home should look to install a 3-4kW system, which would produce around 3,400 kWh per year.
  • The typical roof area required to fit this amount of solar panels would be 28.7 square metres.

Wind turbines

  • One wind turbine is needed to power the home.
  • A wind turbine has a typical speed of 30 to 55 mph but at slower wind speeds this is much slower.
  • On average, wind turbines do not generate energy near their capacity. They have a projected annual output of 30-40%. At 25% capacity, one 2-MW turbine can generate 4,380,000 kWh per year.
  • One turbine is more than enough to power the average UK home. In fact, a 1.5-MW turbine could power around 332 US households over a year.


  • One 2 kW micro-hydro system could power two average UK homes.
  • The maximum amount of power generated from hydropower depends on the head and flow of a site.
  • A small micro-hydro system could produce 2 kW. A system with an output of 5 kW and an annual energy production of 22 MWh could power five homes.
  • A large scale hydro system of 200 MW could power 200,000 average UK houses. 


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