Coffee maker: Based on a 10-12-cup drip filter coffee maker. Refrigerator: Residential top-freezer model with no ice maker or in-door dispenser.
MÓNICA SERRANO, NG STAFF SOURCES: ENERGY STAR, International Energy Agency
How much is that cup of coffee? The answer depends not just on the price of the beans, but the electricity used to brew them and keep the pot warm. In Denmark, for example, running a drip coffee maker every day costs nearly $60 a year; in the United States, about a third as much.
The difference from country to country stands out in the graphic above, which shows average annual electricity costs for a coffee maker, television, and refrigerator. It's worth noting, though, that the numbers must be taken in context: Mexico's electricity prices rank as the cheapest among countries listed in a recent International Energy Agency report, but its median household income is less than one-sixth that of the United States.
The price of power depends on lots of factors, including taxes and utility fees, which take up more than half the power bill in Germany. Danes and Germans pay the most per kilowatt hour —39 and 38 cents, respectively—while people in most other surveyed countries pay 30 cents or far less.