Electricity is one of the few things that we use first and pay for later. Although electricity really is a bargain, there are many things you can do to use electricity more efficiently.
We offer a home energy guide, as well as free energy audits by request to help you understand how you use energy in your home.
Whether you are building, remodeling, or improving the energy efficiency of your home, you want to make the most of the time and money you invest.
Creating an efficient environment can mean a more comfortable and convenient home with lower heating and cooling costs. Electricity plays an important role in a home's efficiency.
What Is A Kilowatt-Hour?
We pay for electricity in kilowatt-hours (kwhs). One kilowatt-hour is the equivalent of using 1,000 watts for one hour or using a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours. When kilowatt-hours add up, electric bills get higher. And kilowatt hour usage is adding up more and more each year. According to statistics, the average family's use of electricity is increasing at a rate of 4 to 7 percent each year.
What Does It Cost To Run My Appliances?
To calculate the exact use of your appliances, use the following formula.
(Look for the serial plate on the bottom or back of the appliance. It lists the power used in terms of watts (w) or amps and volts.)
amps x volts = watts
watts x hours = watt-hours
watt-hours / 1000 = kilowatt-hours (kwhs)
kwhs x Residential Electric Rate* = estimated cost of using appliance
We will use an electric hand mixer as an example. This appliance requires about 127 watts. Following is how you would figure its usage for 15 minutes:
15 minutes = 1/4 hour, so
120 watts x 1/4 hour = 30 watt-hours
30 watt-hours / 1000 = .03 kwhs
.03 kwhs x .065 cents = .19 cent (nearly two-tenths of one cent)
For a larger appliance such as a water heater, remember that it is only running when it has clicked on and is actually heating water. The time your water heater is on varies according to how often you do laundry, take baths, or run the dishwasher. For this example, let's assume your water heater is on for three hours on a particular day (the national average).
4,500 watts x 3 hours = 13,500 watt-hours
13,500 watt-hours / 1000 = 13.5 kwh
13.5 kwh x .065 cents = 87.8 cents
Or, from another angle, you can see that you would use 4.5 kwh for every full hour that your water heater is on. That means it costs you 29.2 cents per hour.