How Many kWh Should you Plan for your EV, Geothermal, Heat Pumps and Other Large Loads? - EmPower Solar

How Many kWh Should you Plan for your EV, Geothermal, Heat Pumps and Other Large Loads?

In our last blog post, we explored how many solar panels you need for an average home. This week we are going to look at how different large loads in your home can affect your annual usage and how to plan for them.

A load refers to the part of an electrical circuit that consumes energy. Every day examples include lights, heating systems, air conditioners, and other appliances.

Electrify Your Life™

The concept of “electrifying your life” involves replacing energy sources for loads that are typically handled by gasoline, natural gas, or oil, which have a tremendous impact on our environment and your wallet. Making this change can also save you a lot of money, especially when that electricity is powered by the sun!

It’s important to factor in energy needs when making these kinds of upgrades. For example, how much more electricity will you need to produce if you want to replace your gas guzzler SUV with an electric vehicle? If you swap out your old, rusty oil burner for an efficient geothermal heat pump system, how many more kWh will your home use?

How can I determine my energy needs?

The average home on Long Island and in NYC uses around 12,000 kWh per year. If you know what your historic energy patterns are but are planning to add one of the loads below to your home in the next year or two, we recommend sizing up your system. That is, instead of offsetting 100% of your electric bill, we can aim to offset 110% of your bill to accommodate for your future electric plans.

Anything beyond 110% will require what is called a “load letter” to explain to the utility company why you are seeking to oversize your system by a significant amount. This requirement also protects you from being oversold on a system larger than needed. Since net metering is offered in our region, our goal is to offset your energy by exactly what you need, perhaps allowing for a little more if you have future plans for growth.

Large Loads

Electric Load Estimated Annual kWh draw
Air Conditioning System (cooling only) 5000 – 6500 kWh / year
Air Sourced Heat Pump System (heating + cooling) 9,350 – 18,500 kWh / year
Ground Sourced Heat Pump System (heating + cooling) 6,500 – 8,500 kWh / year
Electric Heat Pump Hot Water System 2,500 – 4,000 kWh / year
Hybrid Electric Vehicle 750 – 1250 kWh / year
All Electric Vehicle 12,000 miles per year 4,000 – 5,000 kWh / year
Hot tub – used frequently 2,000 – 3,500 kWh / year
Hot tub – used moderately 1,500– 2,000 kWh / year
Pool with filter running responsibly (8 hrs / day) June – August 800 – 1,000 kWh / year
Electric pool heater running responsibly June – August 1,200 – 1,600 kWh / year

*Estimates based on 4-person household. Actual energy usage will depend on consumer choices and energy habits.

Smaller Appliances and Devices

Refrigerator 1,200 – 2,400 kWh / year
Dryer 300 – 900 kWh / year
Oven Range 750 – 1,500 kWh / year
LED lighting 4-5 room household 600 -700 kWh / year
Dishwasher 300 – 350 kWh / year
Television 280 – 330 kWh / year
Microwave 80 – 150 kWh / year
Washing Machine 60 – 120 kWh / year


If you want to know exactly how much energy each energy load in your home uses, you can install an energy monitor like Sense. You can also manually calculate how many hours a day you use each appliance and find the wattage of the appliance. The formula to determine this would be (Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption.

To get a free estimate on how many panels you need to power your current and future electric needs, sign up here to get started!

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