Super Bowl Sunday is here!  The all-day event brings millions to the television screen – 111.3 million last year, to be exact.  The big game symbolizes many different things to its viewers; some people are disappointed it’s the last opportunity to watch football for a few months, others are excited to free up some time on Sundays and the opportunity to be entertained by music and advertisements exists for everybody in between. (Maybe even the occasional puppy, because let’s be honest, the Puppy Bowl that airs on Animal Planet during the game is adorable).

Few would naturally draw the relationship between the Super Bowl and electric usage.  But, with all of the microwaves heating up cheese dip, stoves preparing food, and refrigerators being constantly opened and closed, the assumption is that electrical draw would be monstrous on Super Bowl Sunday, right?

Wrong!

Although there is a slight increase in usage leading up to game time, stats show an average drop of around 5% during the Super Bowl when compared to a typical midwinter Sunday.  For some visual aid, I provided this graph from Opower, an energy consulting firm, to verify.

 

electric-usage-superbowl-2012

 

The fascinating truth is that electrical inactivity far outweighs the draw of televisions and refrigerators.  Think about it – there are no vacuums running during the game, nobody is down in the laundry room using the washer or dryer and there’s usually only one TV on in the house.  The reason for that is people tend to watch the game either with a group of friends, with their families or they head to the local bar.  Oddly enough, it’s a recipe for energy efficiency.

Despite the reduction, General Electric shows that the energy needed to power households during the Super Bowl still amounts to over 11 million kilowatt hours.  That’s a lot of energy, no doubt about it.  In fact, it’s enough to power 3 cities for 10 hours, or keep ten coal plants operating throughout the game.

So whether you’re rooting for Baltimore or San Francisco this year, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for reducing electrical draw, even if just for one night, and even if it’s unintentional.  Happy Super Bowl Sunday everybody!