Energy Use & Cost

Factors that affect your monthly electric statement.

When it comes to energy use, every home is unique. Home construction, the number of appliances, how they are used and the length of time they are used all factor into your monthly electric statement. If you want to get a better handle on where your energy dollars are going, use the following information to begin estimating how much electricity your appliances use.

Step 1

Since the wattage of an appliance or electrical equipment determines the electrical usage per hour, the first step is to determine the wattage. The wattage of an appliance is found on the serial plate. It is possible that electrical equipment may be expressed in volts and amperes rather than watts. If so, multiply volts and amperes together to determine the wattage.

Example: 120 volts x 12.1 amps = 1,452 watts

Step 2

Use the formula to estimate usage and cost. Formula is (watts x hours of operation) / 1,000 watts = kilowatt-hours. To find the cost take the kWh x rate. Keep in mind that you are billed in kWh. 1,000 watts equals 1 kilowatt.

Example: A light uses 100 watts and is left on 15 hours. How many kWh are used and what does it cost you?

kWh use = (100 watts x 15 hrs)/1,000 watts = 1.5 kWh
Your cost = 1.5 kWh x $.12 = $.18
You can also check out this guide to learn more about controlling your energy costs.
Your Family's Energy Guide