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Power Hogs: Revealing Gender Disparities in Power Consumption

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Key Takeaways

  • Nearly 1 in 10 couples that split utility bills say it causes frustration in their relationships.
  • Women are 27% more likely than men to engage in thermostat wars in their relationships.
  • To conserve energy, women are 18% more likely than men to rely on natural light.
  • Overall, people blame their partners for energy negligence more than themselves. Women are slightly more likely than men to do so.

Watt’s Up in Relationships

You may have considered how flipping a switch, adjusting the thermostat, or leaving the TV on might affect your electric bill, but have you ever wondered how it might affect your romantic relationships? Just as household habits can spark disagreements, energy consumption patterns can create controversy.

To unveil the energy habits of couples and explore potential points of contention, we surveyed 1,026 cohabitating American homeowners about their power usage. How does gender influence electricity use and energy-saving practices? How do the differences in power usage affect peace at home? Let’s find out!

Degrees of Disagreement

While managing temperatures and paying bills may seem mundane, they can spark intense debates between partners. Let’s see how gender plays a role in energy habits and the disputes they ignite.

This asset explores who pays the electricity bills in relationships and how energy usage habits can lead to disagreements.
This asset explores who pays the electricity bills in relationships and how energy usage habits can lead to disagreements.

Energy habits and bill-sharing often intertwine in relationships, occasionally leading to lovers’ quarrels. In fact, nearly 1 in 10 couples who divided up utility costs said it was a relationship tension point. Men were 31% more likely than women to get heated over long showers, while women were 27% more likely to fight over thermostat settings.

With the average American adjusting their thermostat twice daily, it’s no wonder temperature plays a significant role in domestic disputes. Couples also quarreled over leaving the lights or TV on, leaving doors and windows open, and forgetting to turn off the oven.

Energy Blame Game

When it comes to domestic energy use, how do partners share the responsibility for consumption? Let’s delve into energy negligence patterns and investigate who’s pointing fingers at who.

This section explores energy negligence in relationships.
This section explores energy negligence in relationships.

Interestingly, many people blamed their partners for energy negligence more than themselves, with women slightly more likely to do so. However, both genders were guilty of sucking vampire energy (the power consumed by devices when not in use), as a whopping 3 in 4 left their phone chargers plugged in all day. Additionally, the average American left the lights in their home on for 17 hours each day, so partners might want to rethink the finger-pointing.

Conservation Competition

Along with differences in energy consumption, men and women also have unique approaches to energy conservation. Which gender takes the lead in energy-saving measures, and what strategies are people adopting to reduce their power use?

This asset explores energy saving practices and differences between genders.
This asset explores energy saving practices and differences between genders.

Our study revealed some intriguing insights about energy conservation across genders. Most men (81%) believed themselves informed about energy-saving habits, compared to just 69% of women. However, women consistently outpaced men in implementing these practices. Women were 18% more likely to rely on natural lighting and use cold water for laundry. Both genders excelled at utilizing energy-efficient light bulbs, and 4 in 5 Americans owned an energy-saving appliance.

For those looking for love, the benefits of these energy-saving practices went beyond environmental conservation and reduced utility bills: 54% of Americans said energy-saving practices are a relationship turn-on.

Saving Relationships One Kilowatt at a Time

Our deep dive into energy habits found that it’s not just about kilowatts; it’s also about healthy relationships. If you and your partner engage in thermostat warfare or battle over shower time, it might be time to sit down and discuss ways to make your home more energy-conscious. You could even conduct an energy audit for a quirky date night! It could spark more than just conversation, ensuring both a happier home and a lighter electric bill.


To explore energy differences among genders, we surveyed 1,026 Americans that own their homes and live with a significant other.

About Payless Power

Payless Power is all about giving Texans straightforward, pay-as-you-go electricity options. Serving both urban and rural communities, we’re dedicated to making energy accessible and affordable for all.

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