Q15 – How much energy do I consume per day and how can I calculate it?

Q15: How much energy do I consume per day and how can I calculate it?

Team: Daily Energy, Larissa and Meret Maeva

We chose this question because we found it really interesting to see how much energy a normal person actually consumes in one day. Another point was to see if and where we could save energy for our environment.

We were discussing a while about how we could answer this difficult question without a wide knowledge that a researcher usually has. We decided then to do a self-experiment on our own, so we would also have a personal experience from it. In the following text we explain how we did the experiment and what we have learned about it.

Report of the Experiment

The purpose of the experiment was to figure out how much energy we consume in a normal day. For the self-experiment we wrote down everything we did and used in a day. First of all, we had to brainstorm about what’s necessary and what’s not in order to write it down.

This included:

Food and Drinks

Electricity at Home:

  • Light
  • TV
  • Laptop
  • Shower
  • Toothbrushing
  • Doing the dishes

Body Movement:

  • Pedometer

Public Transport:

  • Bus


Then we made a chart sheet with a rough estimation of our daily routine. We printed it out and doing the experiment we had this sheet with us all the time to write everything down on it. Another help we used was an app which is called ”Lifesum“. Usually it is an app for loosing weight, but we just used it for recording the food and drinks. You can scan the barcode of the product you’re eating and the app will show you all the food details, such as the calories. Another app which was useful was the pedometer. Almost everyone with a smartphone should have this app already included. This was a great help, because it would have been nearly impossible to count our steps by ourselves.

Afterwards we wrote every located data on an excel sheet and started to calculate it. We took an overall unit kWh. We used a calculator which Miss Suter has given us. You can find the link for the calculator in the sources.

What’s missing?

Unfortunately, we couldn’t include some very interesting things in our calculations, because they are very difficult to figure out:

– Grey energy (from the food and electrical devices)

– Heating energy in our houses (anyway, at this point, we didn’t heat at home)

We will try to include them at a later point if we find the reliable and right sources to calculate them. Also, other groups from our class are searching for it (see Team Q67 – How much energy is embedded in agricultural products?).


We could learn a lot from this project and it was a very interesting experience. In the beginning, we thought it would be easy to calculate all those things, but after a little while we realised that it was quite difficult to do. There are so many different units of energy and we had to do a lot of research on the internet, also they had to be trustworthy sites.

To sum up: we are happy that we chose this topic and we will try to be more aware of our energy consumption in our future. Also we hope that we could give some eye-opening facts of our environment and hope that people become more conscious about their energy consumption, because, in fact, it isn’t that hard to change our behaviour. You can achieve a lot by just changing little things in your daily life.

Tables and Graphs

Larissa’s kcal-Joule-kWh-table with daily consumption data for food, drinks, public transport, electricity at home and body movements.
Meret’s kcal-Joule-kWh-table with daily consumption data for food, drinks, public transport, electricity at home and body movements.
Larissa’s joules consumption per day on bodymovement, food, public transport and electricity at home.
Meret’s joules consumption per day on bodymovement, food, public transport and electricity at home.


Water use calculation:
Wasserbedarf Dusche: energie-umwelt.ch
Täglicher Wasserverbrauch: sn.schule.de
Wasser sparen: stromverbrauchinfo.de
Umrechnung Wasser in Energie: biosensor-physik.de

Petrol Calculation:
Umrechnung Benzin in Energie: wikipedia.org

Use of electricity:
Stromverbrauch TV: stromverbrauchinfo.de
Stromverbrauch Laptop: helpster.de
Stromverbrauch Lampe: energie-umwelt.ch

Reviewed by Evelin Zeyrek-Gabriel and Eva Waiblinger

Projects related to this one:
Q67: How much energy is embedded in agricultural products?
Q59: Living without electricity
Q36: Movement
Q23: Top 5 Countries

☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »

7 thoughts on “Q15 – How much energy do I consume per day and how can I calculate it?

  1. Hallo zusammen
    Euer Projekt finde ich sehr spannend. Besonders spannend finde ich die Grafiken da ihr sie speziell auf euch selbst bezogen habt. Eigentlich macht man sich meist nicht so viele Gedanken darüber wie viel Energie man selber verbraucht oder gebraucht. Durch euer Projekt denke ich, mache ich mir in Zukunft mehr Gedanken darüber, wie ich meine Alltagsgegenstände brauche.
    Super von euch finde ich auch, dass ihr bewusst ausgeklammert habt, was ihr nicht bearbeitet habt.
    Ronja Wigger, VZA

  2. Hi girls!
    I found your project very interesting right from the start. I\’ve always wanted to try something like that too, but i\’ve never had the patience to do it by my own…
    When i studied your graphes i was really impressed by the results! i wouldn\’t have expected that we need so much energy for electricity and that it is so much more then we need for the other things.

    In my opinion your project looks pretty good and i\’m sure you had a lot of work but it was worth it! You have explained the whole project in a short and clear text.

    Well done girls!

    Vanja BM VZB

  3. Dear Larissa, Dear Meret

    Thank you so much for the project it have been a pleasure to read it. I am astonishied by your hardwork, I konw how hard it is to make a self experiment. That include to make a great concept of your project. Well done! You passed the task. In the beginning you explained each detail about your thoughts and how you gone make the project. I like that you mentioned your struggles because of that I could imagine your effort.
    I missed a smal conclusion about the graphs that you did. I would unterstand your project even better. In additon to that in the beginning you explained that you made the project so that you can see how much energy you can save. In the end I missed a connection to that. I would be happy if you can add few sentence. Additionally I find the graphs to small, I had few problems to read it. Maybe it is just my laptop, which is really old but I would find bigger graphs better.
    Incidentally I am really interessted if you can upload a graph about the average from persons in switzerland and compare it too your graph. Maybe the energy departemend in switzerland have an answere.
    In the end I am impressed about your clear project and your clear steps that you have made. Your experiment make the web page better.
    My best wishes

    Your schoolmate Ylenia Vikor from the classe VZB

  4. Dear fellow students

    Your topic actually seems like the most interesting one because it does affect all of us. Of course it has got to be us saving energy by using less every day.

    You had to work with all kinds of energy units and you have summed that up very well in graphics. The only thing I don\’t necessarily like is that the pictures are hard to read because they are a little too small.
    I don\’t think people know how much energy is consumed on a daily basis. I did not either! It\’s truly fascinating.

    I\’m looking forward to see your upcoming informations.

    With kind regards
    Damir Stanicic

  5. Hallo zusammen
    Ich finde es sehr interessant, wie es eure Arbeit ermöglicht, den eigenen Energiebedarf/verbrauch, zu betrachten, wobei auf einige Verbrauchsquellen aufmerksam gemacht wird, welche man im Alltag nicht bedenkt.
    Ich finde es sehr gut, wie ihr als eine der einzigen Gruppen ein Selbstexperiment gemacht habt, welches ich als eines der Highlights eurer Arbeit betrachte. Ausserdem fand ich es eine tolle Idee, wie ihr euch die App zu Nutze gemacht habt.
    Vielleicht ist es euch möglich die zuletzt geposteten Grafiken noch als verlinkte Bilder hochzuladen, da sie aufgrund der Grösse schlecht lesbar sind. Diese interessieren mich sehr!
    Alles in allem bin ich von eurer Arbeit begeistert und hoffe, dass ich mit meinem Tipp helfen konnte.
    Vielen Dank für die Informationen!
    LG Yuri

  6. Dear Team,

    Your question was very interesting for me, because I always wanted to know how I can measure the energy which I use per day. I find the way in which you realized your project very well, because after I read your work I was inspired. Maybe I will try your experiment as well and find out, how much energy I use.
    Especially the graphs which you have made I find very useful. They were a big help to understand your researches. I think it is not so easy to find out how much for example water or energy I use. So I was very impressed how good you handled it.
    The only question which I have is do you know, how much energy an average person needs per day?
    Over all I find your work very interesting and helpful!

    Best wishes,

  7. Dear Larissa, Dear Meret Maeva

    My esteem, you\’ve chosen a hard topic for a research and it seems to me as if you put a big effort on it. The result is very interesting. You had to deal with a lot of different units of measurements. Relating to that it\’s a great idea of using an application to calculate the calories in food. The application name would be nice to know.
    Furthermore you gave an exact description of your procedure. Additionally, your conclusion is a good summary and it\’s nice that you included your experience and point of view; this makes it more personal to read. I am looking forward to see your pictures soon. A tip: hide your links behind a description of the website (use insert link), the description will appear as blue and underlined. This will look more structured and clear.
    In which time of the year have you done the researches? This can make a difference in energy consumption (example: heating or lights in winter), that would be interesting to know.
    At the end of your text I could find your graphs. They are clearly structured and details are given in different units of measurements. This is brilliant, people from all over the world will understand and can compare with other units. However, in the legend from the first graph you started by writing in English and continued in German, is this on purpose?
    To sum up, the result of your hard question is an excellent project.
    Granulations for the work you\’ve done.

    Marina, VZA

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