An expense that is often ignored is the cost of electricity needed to run your appliance. Fortunately, Keurig coffee machines have been designed to only heat up enough water when it’s needed which makes them energy efficient when compared to an electric kettle for example.
I started looking into my coffee machine’s power draw when planning to take mine with me in my campervan (RV) – one deep dive later, here’s what i found!
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Table of Contents
How Much Power Does A Keurig Machine Use?
Your Keurig machine only draws a lot of power when its first turned on (to heat the water from room temperature) and when you run the extraction (bringing new cold water into the boiler).
Most Keurig machines are specified to use 1470W of electricity peak while heating up from cold, then 200W on and off to maintain temperature. When the Keurig is in standby it will draw around 15W.
Lets look at the Keurig K-Classic for example, which is Keurig’s most popular machine with over 86,000 reviews on Amazon at the time of writing. It takes on average 4 minutes to heat up and then will take around 60 seconds to extract your coffee (depending on the type of k-cup used). Its built in energy saver mode will then automatically shut down the machine 2 hours later.
Making 4 cups of coffee each day, we can estimate an annual power consumption of around 856kWh. At a power price of $0.20/kWh, the cost of electricity to run your Keurig machine is around $170 a year.
To be perfectly honest, this shocked me. We did the same comparison with a popular Nespresso machine and found the operational cost to only be ~$10 per year. This is largely due to the Nespresso having to heat less water, and then switching to stand-by after only 9 minutes rather than 2 hours for the keurig!
What Components In A Keurig Machine Draw The Most Power?
There are 2 main components in a Keurig machine that draw a lot of power. These are;
- The heating element – This is what heats the water to extract the coffee. It’s basically an electric element encased in a block of aluminium and copper pipework. The standard heating element is rated at 1400W. It is energized immediately when the machine is turned on, to heat the water inside to 95degrees Celsius. It will then cycle on and off to maintain that temperature.
- The water pump – The pump Is only used when you extract a coffee. \
How Many Watts Does Each Model Of Keurig Machine Use?
The next question is to figure out how much power various makes and models of Nespresso machine use. We’ve looked at the datasheets for most of the common models and tabulated the power ratings in the table below.
|Keurig Model||Rated Power Consumption|
It’s important to note that this figure is the ‘rated input power’ – which basically means it’s the worst-case power that the machine can be expected to draw.
In reality, it will draw this for a very short amount of time while heating up, and then idle using much less power, typically about 200W
To be exact, there are three phased of operation where the power draw will change
- Heatup – As described above, this is where the peak power of 1500W will be drawn for around 2-3 minutes.
- Maintenance – While the machine is active it will cycle the heating element on and off drawing around 400W to maintain temperature in the boiler.
- Standby – When the auto-off timer has elapsed, the machine will transition into standby mode. here its will draw around 15W to stay powered on and awaiting your next instrution.
How Much Will I Spend Each Year Running My Keurig Machine?
This is hard to estimate as it depends on a lot of factors, namely how much you pay per kilowatt-hour of electricity, and how often you use your Keurig machine throughout the day.
The price of electricity – around the world the price we pay for electricity can vary immensely. Here in New Zealand, a figure of around USD 19c/kWhr is a fair assumption.
|Location around the world||Average Power Prices ($USD/kWhr)||Annual Cost of making 4 coffees each day|
The number of coffees made each day – Obviously the more often you run your Keurig machine, the more power you’ll consume.
|Number of coffee’s made each day||Approximate annual power cost|
It’s worth noting that this is worst case: the calculation assumes after each coffee the machine is left for 2 hours to then switch off automatically. If coffee’s are brewed back then the power used will decrease. If the machine is manually switched off after each coffee, the power used will decrease significantly.
The Keurig Smart Energy Saver Feature
As mentioned above, most Keurig machines have an inbuilt feature that puts the machine into standby after not being used for a certain amount of time.
This is awesome, as it means the machine won’t be constantly heating water 24/7 in case you want to make a coffee. The tradeoff of course is that you’ll need to wait anywhere from 30 seconds to 4 minutes for the machine to heat up each time you want to brew.
The following table lists the default “Auto-Off” timer on the most popular Keurig machines. Note, on most machines, this can be reprogrammed or disabled completely but do so with caution.
|Keurig Model||Default Auto-Off Time (Min)|
If you deep dive into these things as much as I like to (lol!) then i’m sure you want to check my maths, see the assumptions I made, and figure out what I did wrong 😉
The screenshot below is from the spreadsheet i used to calculate these numbers. You can also download the excel file to play with from here for free ofcourse! (DOWNLOAD LINK).
[Update] I’ve now made this spreadsheet work for all models of Keurig machine based on a dropdown selection at the top of the sheet.
So, Which Keurig Machine Uses The Least Power?
Great questions, and the results surprised us for sure.
We were surpirsed just how much power most keurig machines use. This is mostly due to the 2hr idle period where the machine just sits there keeping the water hot and ready to brew. Crazy right!
Whereas other machines like the K-Mini only heat up water when they are brewing, and then “auto-off” after only 90 seconds.
We found the K-Mini and K-Mini Plus used the least power at only 241kWhr per year to make 4 cups of coffee each day, compared to 813kWhr for the most popular machine, the Keurig K-Classic. That’s a 70% reduction in power used!
Keurig machines have been designed to be energy efficient. They only heat the water they need, and will automatically shut down after a short period of inactivity.
However, they still draw a large amount of power due to the long heat up time (up to 5 minutes), usin more water, and the long auto-off time delay (often 2 hours).
Compared to Nespresso machines, keurig machines may be costing you 17x the amount of electricity!