Gadgets Driving Up America's Electric Bills Despite efficiency gains, we're using as much power as ever By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Mar 31, 2011 2:06 PM CDT 7 comments Comments Does your power strip look anything like this? (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Heating technology and many major appliances have gotten drastically more efficient since 1978, yet as of 2005, American homes are still using essentially the same amount of power, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. Taking a closer look at the numbers it's easy to see why, according to Fast Company: We just keep buying electronic gadgets. The report shows that heating has indeed fallen from 66% of total home energy use to 41%, while the “appliances and electronics” category has almost doubled from 17% to 31%—and again, that’s despite major efficiency gains for appliances like refrigerators, clothes dryers, and even light bulbs. But to swing the pendulum the other way, nearly half of American homes in 2009 had three TVs, a computer, and at least four rechargeable devices.