A Simple Guide to Your Coffee Maker’s Energy Usage
If you own a coffee maker, the odds are that you use it every day. Coffee makers do not use a lot of electricity to make coffee, but if you make many cups every day or keep your coffee on the heater plate the entire day, you may be surprised at how quickly coffee makers add to your energy bill. However, you should not give up on your favorite drink – rather, seek energy-efficient coffee makers and ways to save money when making coffee.
Coffee Maker Wattage
Your coffee maker machine does not draw too much power at all times. With the average US coffee maker drawing some 1,500 Watts or 1.5 kW of electricity per hour when on maximum mode and use, it is a small appliance that can draw almost as much power as a water heater – around 75% of the heater’s power capacity, to be precise. With this in mind, it is necessary to establish some good habits and keep under control how many Watts your coffee maker can use in a day.
As there are different models on the market, some of which draw as little as 650 Watts, it is necessary to do thorough research to ensure that you are purchasing the right type of coffee maker for your needs. As large coffee makers draw over 2 kWh of electricity and can make dozens of cups of high-quality coffee, most models may be too strong for your needs.
Average Wattage of a Coffee Maker
Coffee makers that are on the US market average about 1,300 Watts of electricity use per hour. They also come in varying sizes and with varying energy consumption; an estimate of the average electricity cost per hour of running your coffee maker is around $0.26. This cost is based on the electricity price of $0.20 per kWh. Depending on electricity prices in your area, you may pay a different price depending on the model and the making of your coffee machine.
As there are different types of coffee makers, they all use different ways of making coffee. With this in mind, they all have different power consumption levels and will cost you differently to run. With cold brew being the absolute winner when it comes to the least electricity consumption, let’s see how many watts different types of coffee machines use:
By Machine Type
Coffee is an international sensation and the second most widely consumed drink in the world, right after tea. This being said, it is necessary to know that Americans alone drink 517 million cups of coffee a day. This is around 2 cups per day for every adult person in the country. With this in mind, it is safe to say that there are different ways to make this international drink. Each of these ways has a special dedicated type of coffee maker:
- Standard Drip Machine,
- Single-Serve Coffee Maker,
- Espresso Machine, and
- Combination Coffee Machine.
Standard Drip Machine
Standard drip machines or drip coffee makers use the least amount of electricity on our list. This type of coffee maker can use as little as 650 Watts. This type of coffee maker heats water and pours or drips it over ground coffee. Heating the water takes a lot of energy, but keeping the coffee hot takes even more.
Single-serve coffee makers take more energy than standard drip coffee makers but less than espresso machines or a combination of any of the two types of coffee makers. Unlike standard drip coffee makers, single-serve coffee maker wattage is used in two ways: to heat the water and pressurize it and then run it through a coffee pod.
Although they use relatively low wattage, this type of coffee maker is criticized a lot because they are not eco-friendly. These coffee makers use coffee pods – which are single-use and always made of plastic. If you like this type of coffee maker and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, you can purchase refillable metal coffee pods. This will significantly reduce the plastic you waste so that you can enjoy your cup of eco-friendly coffee.
An espresso machine uses the most electricity of all types. Far from the power consumption of an average coffee maker, espresso machines heat and pressurize water to pressures way above those of single-serve coffee makers. This is what gives espresso its distinctive flavor – it is an emulsion – a mixture of oils from ground coffee and water that dissolves the precious caffeine from the coffee.
There are also a number of coffee makers that combine two types of coffee makers – in this case, a single-serve coffee machine could be combined with an espresso coffee maker, or a standard drip coffee maker could be combined with an espresso maker as well. In any case, these machines are in the median in energy consumption. They allow you to brew coffee of different types and can be made energy-efficient, reducing how much power they consume and helping you save energy.
Coffee Maker kWh Calculation
If you want to save money while making coffee, you should first know how many kilowatt-hours your coffee maker uses on a regular day. This will enable you to better understand how you can save. It is important to understand that your coffee maker can use electricity in two ways:
- To brew coffee for you, and
- To keep the water/coffee hot.
When it comes to the first usage, this is the one that draws the most electricity. This is the time when the water is heated and pushed through the internal piping of the coffee maker. In espresso makers, this is also the time when the water is pressurized and pushed through the ground coffee. Your machine can use almost 1.7 kW to make your cup of coffee.
The second type of use means keeping either water or your beverage hot. In this use, your machine uses anywhere between 200-400 Watts of power. It does not do so the entire time, as once the water reaches the desired temperature, the heating body/coil switches off.
Now, when it comes to calculating the kWh that your coffee maker uses, there is one simple formula that we can apply to both cases:
kWh = Wattage/1,000 X Time of Use in seconds/3,600
Wattage/1000 – will give you the use of energy in kW
Time of Use in Seconds/3600, – will give you the fraction of the hour that the machine is used for
Let’s take a look at an example:
An energy-efficient espresso maker of 1,000 Watts runs for a full minute to brew a single cup of coffee. It has no water tank, and no water to keep hot:
1,000 Watts = 1kW
1kW x 60 seconds = 60kW
60kW / 3600 = 0.0167 kWh
This is how much energy it takes to make a single cup of coffee.
Let’s take a look at another example:
A standard drip coffee maker has a wattage of 2,000 Watts. It runs for 6 minutes straight to brew a full pot of coffee and then keeps it warm using 250 Watts of power. Here, we need two formulas. Let’s first consider the kWh used to brew coffee. We will use the same formula:
2,000 Watts = 2 kW
2 kW x 360 seconds =720 kW
720 kW / 3600 = 0.2 kWh
Then, let’s consider the cost of keeping the coffee hot for 1 hour:
250 Watts = 0.25 kW
0.25 kW x 1 hour / 1 Hour = 0.25 kWh
Here we can see that it takes more energy to keep the coffee hot than it does to make it. Consider that a 2kW coffee maker is very strong and that coffee makers of this size are difficult to find. You should calculate usage at any extra time of keeping the coffee hot by simply multiplying the time of keeping it hot in hours with our calculated usage. Keeping the coffee hot for 4 hours will cost 5(!) times more than brewing it. Now that you know this, you can simply remove the coffee from the heater and save 365 kWh every year.
Coffee Maker Running Costs
Calculating how much energy coffee machines use is not so easy since there are different models on the market and many other variables that should be considered. However, we will take some of these variables to be fixed and will assume that you leave your coffee machine on for 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours a day. Then, we will present to you the annual cost of running your coffee maker.
We will assume that all coffee makers here draw exactly 1,000 Watts or 1 kW of electrical power. We will also assume that the hot plate (if there is one) is left on for the same number of hours and that you use your coffee maker to make six cups of coffee every day. This is just enough for a family of 2-3 members.
You will notice that our list includes a French Press – although not a coffee maker machine, you still need to boil the water in a water kettle to make coffee. This cost is then calculated for the 6 cups of coffee at once, and it assumes that you fill the kettle to the exact amount of water. Cold brew coffee is not included – there is no electricity used to make it.
|Type of Coffee Maker||1 Hour per Day (Yearly)||2 Hours per Day (Yearly)||3 Hours per Day (Yearly)||4 Hours per Day (Yearly)|
|Standard Drip Coffee Makers||136 kWh||272 kWh||408 kWh||544 kWh|
|Single-Serve Coffee Makers||365 kWh||730 kWh||1095 kWh||1460 kWh|
|Espresso Coffee Makers||365 kWh||730 kWh||1,095 kWh||1,460 kWh|
|Combined Coffee Makers||300 kWh||600 kWh||900 kWh||1,200 kWh|
|French Press - Water Kettle Cost||36.5 kWh||73 kWh||109.5 kWh||146 kWh|
Energy Efficient Coffee Makers in the Market
These are considerable kWhs used by a single appliance in your home. If you want to reduce the coffee maker wattage or even the total power use, you should opt for an energy-efficient appliance. Here are some models of coffee makers that will save you energy and money:
|Model||Wattage||No. of Cups of Coffee||Coffee Beans Used||Approximate Price|
|Black+Decker CM2035B||750 watts||12-Cup||Ground Coffee||$85.99|
|Black+Decker CM1160B||975 watts||12-Cup||Ground Coffee||$37.99|
|Mr. Coffee PSTX95||1,200 watts||10-Cup||Ground Coffee||$79.99|
|BELLA Single Serve Coffee Maker||1,200 watts||1-Cup||Coffee Pods||$93.08|
|Mr. Coffee 2129512||650 watts||5-Cup||Ground Coffee||$14.99|
|Cuisinart® Coffee Plus™||400 watts||12-Cup||Ground Coffee||$99.94|
Coffee Maker vs Electric Kettle
Understanding how different coffee machines brew coffee and keep it hot is essential in deciding what type of coffee maker to purchase. While your coffee maker uses energy to heat water, run it over ground coffee, and keep the coffee in the pot warm, an electric kettle has a different energy use profile. Namely, with an electric kettle, you will only use energy when you heat and boil the water. This means a shorter period of intensive energy use, as an average electric kettle consumes around 1.7 kWh of energy.
However, electric kettles are not always the best thing to use to make coffee. Namely, many people overfill their electric kettle and use too much energy to heat the water. The best thing to do is to only pour as much water as you really need into the kettle to brew it. Electric kettles are the best option when you want to make French press coffee or instant coffee (soluble coffee).
Coffee Maker vs Espresso Machine
If you decide to purchase an espresso machine, on the other hand, you should know that the energy use profile is quite different with this type of coffee brewer. Namely, espresso machines use power to heat water and pressurize it. Once pressurized, the water is slowly released over coarsely ground coffee beans, and they release oils and caffeine – the substance that keeps you awake.
Unlike other coffee makers, such as the Keurig coffee maker, espresso coffee maker use is limited to the preparation of the cup you want – there is no hotplate that will keep the coffee warm. However, in bigger espresso machines, they may have a water tank in which they heat the water at all times. This is done so they can make coffee faster, but smaller machines may not have this water tank. Always check and, if unsure, unplug your espresso maker.
How to Reduce your Coffee Maker’s Energy Consumption
As you can see, smaller coffee machines do not use too much energy. However, with frequent use and with bigger machines, you may still end up with a higher energy bill and more money out of your pocket than you would like. For this reason, you may consider purchasing an energy-efficient coffee machine or investing in a good French press coffee maker. Alternatively, you may also want to follow our tips for reducing your coffee machine’s energy consumption. Here are some tips:
When brewing coffee, it is important to do it in a clean coffee machine. As you enjoy your morning cup of coffee one morning after another, mineral deposits may form on the heating bodies, making less energy pass to the water itself and making your coffee machine take more energy to make the water hot. So, it is important to keep your coffee maker clean as it can help you reduce power consumption.
There are many ways to clean your coffee maker. A drip coffee maker, for example, uses white vinegar for cleaning. Simply pour the vinegar into the water tank and run a coffee cycle. This takes a few minutes and can be done once every two weeks. After this, run one more cycle with water only. For other types of coffee makers, there are special tabs to keep your coffee machine clean. These tabs dissolve in water and are then used by the machine.
Only Use when Needed
Another way to save money when making coffee is to only use the coffee machine when needed. This means that it should not be left on for prolonged periods of time, especially not 24/7. This significantly increases power consumption. Most coffee makers make machines that turn off automatically after an hour or two.
With single-serve machines, this is a job done already. With other solutions, such as a drip coffee maker, you can store unused coffee in a fridge and keep it fresh for one or two more days. You can also use your coffee maker early in the day, during the free electricity period. A simple timer can help with this.
Unplug the Coffee Maker
As most coffee machines are on standby mode whenever not in use, unplugging them can save a significant amount of electricity. There is no need to use more energy than the maker already does. Smart maker use will result in lower electric bills and less of a headache at the end of each month. This is especially true as the energy cost keeps rising in almost every state – saving energy is becoming imperative.
Use Smart Plugs
An alternative to unplugging your coffee machine and still saving on your electricity bill is using a smart plug. A smart plug can automatically shut off the electricity supply to any device that is connected to it. It can also be programmed to turn on any machine at a predefined time. This is a great combination with a drip coffee machine, as it can turn it on just minutes before you wake up. This way, you can always start your morning with the smell of fresh coffee.
Use an Energy Efficient Model
Using an energy-efficient model can definitely save a lot of energy. Almost every small coffee maker uses less energy than a bigger model. This results in less power used and less burned coffee. The actual wattage of your device can be even lower than stated on this type of kitchen appliance, as coffee machine makers have to state the maximum wattage on their electronic devices.
Lower the Temperature
Your coffee machine may come with a setting allowing you to control the temperature of the hot plate. Lowering the temperature will make every coffee lover happy, as your coffee will never burn. The machine will keep using a lot of electricity, but only in the full brewing mode. If you’ve recently purchased a coffee maker, you may already have this setting.
Drink Cold Brew Coffee
Drinking cold brew coffee is the latest fashion in cafes and bars in Europe. When you cold brew your coffee, you do not have to heat water, as any cold brew is left overnight to release the flavors while helping you save more power than ever before. Every coffee maker uses this way of brewing coffee today, as it is still as good and as tasty. Some types of coffee cannot be made this way; for example, espresso coffee needs high water temperatures.
Change Your Energy Provider
The simplest way to save on how much energy your coffee maker uses and how much it costs you is to switch your energy provider. This way, you can enjoy the flavor of your favorite type of coffee beans while paying less for energy. Currently, the average cost of one kWh of electricity is around $0.14 – more than it was just two years ago. Beware that using more energy with a lower-priced energy plan can still result in higher electricity bills.
Do coffee makers use a lot of electricity?
Coffee makers generally do not use a lot of electricity. Most electricity is used to heat water and keep a hot brew in your coffee pot. Although the initial energy use can be high, your coffee machine may not use it at all once your cup of coffee is done – espresso machine wattage, for example, is very high, but it takes 30-45 seconds to make a single cup of coffee.
Can you plug a coffee maker into a car?
Most coffee makers draw more power than your car can deliver. However, some vehicles may have a 120/230 V outlet that could power the coffee maker. RVs, on the other hand, can power your coffee maker – just see if they have the right type of outlet.
Does a coffee maker draw power when off?
Yes, some coffee makers can draw power even when off, as they actually move to standby mode. The best way to counteract this issue and reduce ‘vampire’ energy consumption is to purchase a smart plug or unplug your coffee maker whenever not in use. Cold brew options are also there to save you money.
Will a 1000 watt inverter run a coffee maker?
If your coffee maker uses 1,000 Watts or less, your 1,000-Watt inverter will be able to power it. As there are energy-efficient models as well, your less-than-1000-watt coffee maker may already be in your kitchen. To check energy use, check the back label for your coffee maker’s wattage or use a wattmeter to get a precise measurement.
Your coffee maker wattage may be high, but considering the sporadic usage with some models, it may account for only a small percentage of the final electricity cost. If you think that your coffee maker uses more kilowatt-hours than it should, you can check and see how it uses the power – keeping a single pot warm throughout the day is sure to increase your electricity bill. Being smart about how you use your coffee machine is sure to save energy while still enabling you to enjoy your favorite drink.