How hungry are your appliances?

What does “energy efficiency” mean and what’s so important about being energy efficient?

Set up time


What you need

‘Appliance audit’ worksheet


To understand the relationship between our own energy use and how it affects world energy resources 

Learning outcomes


Your students will conduct an audit of all the appliances that use energy in their homes, from televisions to toasters to hair dryers.


Your students will record information in a table and learn how to use the table to make decisions about energy usage.


Your students will learn how to use mathematical skills to calculate the energy usage in their homes.


We use so many appliances! And sometimes, we don’t even need to use these appliances. What can we do to make sure we don’t waste energy?

Supply students with the Appliance Audit worksheet. Their homework is to fill it out.

Back in class, ask students to compare their audits in groups of 4 or 5.

Together, calculate the average number of appliances in each room.

Discuss the results, paying attention to the appliances on standby, and appliances that are always plugged in or always on. 

Before you do the audit, have a guess at the number of appliances in your household?
Could you do this sort of activity for your school? Or an entire city?

Time required
30 mins

Extension: carbon emission

Carbon is the gas created when we use energy. The more energy we use, the higher the levels of carbon is detected in our environment. We call this Carbon Emission. High levels of carbon can affect our weather patterns causing the earth to heat up at a faster rate. You may have heard this discussed when people talk about Global warming.

Try ‘unplugging’ from energy-hungry activities for a whole day.


Your carbon footprint is a mark you leave on the environment.


Ask students to write down everything in their lives that consumes energy – such as getting to school, going to the movies, or buying a milkshake.


Discuss ways that they could replace some of the things on their list that use less energy.


Talk about ways that your school can reduce its carbon footprints, too. What could your school do to use less energy?