How Much Energy Does My Coffee Maker Use?

By Vernon Trollinger, June 8, 2016, Energy Efficiency

Saving energy (and money) is always easier when you know how much you’re using. But because many of the convenient smaller appliances we use seem to draw little amounts of power, we all too often discount how their use really does impact our electricity bills. With our How Much Energy Does This Appliance Use?, we’ll examine what’s watt in small appliances to see approximately how much they use. To help you understand very basic electrical consumption calculations, you’ll need to keep a simple equation in mind: Volts (V) x Amperes (I) = Watts (W). What you’ll discover is how just how small appliances can contribute to your home’s energy usage and how these little conveniences can make big differences on your bill.

How Much Energy Does Your Coffee Maker Use?

How Much Energy Does My Coffee Maker Use? | Bounce Energy

As your quivering fingers carefully clasp about your morning mug of life-giving coffee, consider there are only three basic kinds of coffee makers commonly used in US homes: automatic drip coffee maker, the single-serving pod-users, and the specialized espresso machine.

How Much Energy Does My Coffee Maker Use? | Bounce Energy

Mmmm… Espresso…

While different makes and models of coffee makers can have a number of convenience features that use energy (built-in grinders, steam wands, timers, etc.), most of the energy is used to heat the water.

The National Coffee Association recommends the optimal water temperature for brewing should be between 195° F to 205°F for proper flavor extraction. The next main energy-using component is again the heater (or warming plate), especially if the model is made to keep coffee hot for a period of time beyond the brewing process. Coffee makers use an additional 1.14 watts on standby power to run a clock and/or timer.

How Much Energy Does My Coffee Maker Use? | Bounce Energy

Back in the day, this was all anyone had for coffee at home.

How Much Does It Cost?

Automatic drip filter coffee makers typically use electric-resistance warming plates to heat water and keep the beverage warm. Most consumer models use between 750 to 1200 watts with automatic shutdown occurring after two hours. An average full-sized automatic drip filter coffee maker will use about 730 kWh annually, costing (assuming a rate of 12¢/kWh) $87.60 or $7.30 per month. Not a mammoth expense, but noticeable.

How Much Energy Does My Coffee Maker Use? | Bounce Energy

Love ’em or hate ’em, it’s hard to deny the aesthetic beauty of some of these single-serving pod-based coffee makers.

Many of your new-school single-serving coffee makers – the style popularized by Bunn or Keurig – use a heating element mounted in the water reservoir to keep heated water ready for when it’s needed. While this greatly reduces brew time for the most petulant java aficionado, it eats power by keeping hot water waiting to be used. Stand-by heaters can use 60 watts per hour just keeping water heated all day — unless you remember to turn them off completely. Consequently, you run the risk of adding an extra $5 in coffee maker energy use to your monthly bill — that’s an extra $60 annually.

How Else Can I Save?

While you may want a coffee maker with more electronic options than a simple on/off switch, getting a coffee maker that actually has an on/off switch or can be programmed to turn off completely will be the best way to reduce your energy usage.

One more thing— As with any thing used to heat water, cleaning out the mineral build up will help keep the unit heating efficiently, extend its lifespan, and even prevent bacterial growth. Be sure to clean out your cherished machine every month to keep it flowing fast, furious, and flavorful.

Electric bill worries keeping you up at night? Let the soothing, dulcet-toned analysis of next month’s How Much Energy Does This Appliance Use? installment lull you asleep as we review white noise machines.

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About 

A native of Wyomissing Hills, PA, Vernon Trollinger studied writing and film at the University of Iowa, later earning his MA in writing there as well. Following a decade of digging in CRM archaeology, he now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, DIY projects, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.

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