Our guide will highlight everything you need to know on how to calculate electricity usage cost.
Step to Step Guide: How to Calculate Electricity Usage Cost and Charges
American homes account for around 40 percent of the energy used annually. For most homeowners, finding ways to reduce the cost of their monthly electric bill is something they are passionate about. Ignoring the need for some energy updates and changes can lead to a homeowner wasting a lot of resources.
The first step in reducing the overall cost of your energy bill is using a website like Energybot.com. This website allows you to compare rates between the energy providers in an area.
Once you have found the right energy company, your next step should be calculating your usage costs.
By doing this, you can estimate what your monthly energy bill will be. These calculations can also help you see where changes need to be made.
The following is some information on how to calculate electricity costs and some tips on making your home more efficient.
Let’s get into how to calculate electricity usage cost and usage.
Learning How to Calculate Your Energy Costs
If you are new to the world of homeownership, you may be surprised to learn just how much energy usage varies. Each of the appliances and electrical components in your home will require a different amount of energy to run properly.
It is your job to find out how much wattage a piece needs when trying to guesstimate monthly energy costs.
The only way to create a comprehensive budget is by figuring out how much electricity your home uses. Here are some of the things you need to consider when attempting to calculate energy costs.
Assessing Wattage is Not Easy
The first step in this process is getting information regarding how much electricity the various appliances and electronic devices in your home require. Some homeowners fail to realize just how simple finding this information is.
Typically, the appliances and electronic devices in your home will have labels detailing the wattage requirements.
If you know what to look for on these labels, getting the information you need will be simple. In some cases, an appliance or device will not have this label attached.
Situations like this will require you to do things like:
- Investing in a wattage measuring device.
- Reach out to the manufacturers of the product for help.
- Consult with a knowledgeable electrician to see if they can get the information you need.
Below is a list of common household products and the estimated wattage needed to operate them.
- A microwave can use up to 1100 watts of electricity.
- Common dishwashers will use anywhere from 1200 to 2400 watts.
- A clothes washer uses up to 500 watts of electricity.
- Dryers use up to 5000 watts depending on the cycle being used.
- Laptops only consume around 50 watts of electricity.
- Larger flat-screen televisions use up to 170 watts of electricity (check out these energy-efficient TVs).
Now that you know more about the wattage required to operate some of the electronics and appliances in your home, it is time to move onto the next step.
Learning How to Calculate Watts Per Day
Before you can calculate watts per day, you need to sit down and figure out how much the appliance or electronic device in question is used. With this estimate, you can get an accurate assessment of how much it costs to use the device per day.
Simply multiply the number of hours the device is used by the wattage requirements.
Figuring this up for all of the commonly used appliances and electronics in your home may be time-consuming, but definitely worth the effort.
Converting Into Kilowatts
Once you have an idea of how many watts an appliance is using per day, you need to convert these numbers into kilowatts. Most homeowners fail to realize that most energy companies bill in kilowatt-hours and not watt-hours.
Getting this figure is fairly simple because one kilowatt-hour is 1,000 watts. Here is how to determine kW vs kWh.
With the wattage number from the previous figure, you can divide by 1,000 to get your kilowatt numbers. Taking the time to thoroughly assess your home’s energy requirements can help you see where corners can be cut.
Eliminating energy waste is not only great for your wallet, but it is also great for the environment.
Calculating Monthly Usage and Overall Cost
The last step in figuring out your energy costs is calculating monthly usage. After you have an idea of how many kilowatt-hours are being used by an appliance daily, you can multiply this by 30 to get a monthly estimate.
On your electric bill, you should be able to find information about how much you pay per kilowatt-hour. Multiplying this amount by your monthly usage total will provide you with an estimate of what you pay.
While finding this information out will not be easy, it is essential when attempting to create a detailed and accurate budget.
See Related: Direct Energy Review
Energy Mistakes You Need to Avoid
The best way to find out where energy is being wasted in your home is by performing an audit. These audits will provide you with the information needed to make your home more efficient. These mistakes are some of the most important considerations on how to calculate electricity usage costs.
The following are some of the most common mistakes homeowners when it comes to energy waste.
Leaving Lights On Can Be Expensive
One of the most common mistakes most homeowners make when it comes to electricity in their home is leaving lights on.
Some people find it hard to remember to turn off lights when they are not in use. Not only will this mistake cost you more money due to energy waste, it will also take a toll on the bulbs.
If you simply can’t remember to do this on your own, installing a smart home system may be a good idea. These systems will put your lights on timers, which means they will be off while you and your family are away.
The money invested in smart home technology will be worth it considering how much it can save you in the future. Consulting with professionals is the best way to get the right smart home technology chosen and installed quickly.
See Related: How to Get Free Electricity on Weekends
Don’t Overuse Your HVAC Unit
Keeping the inside of a home at a comfortable temperature is something most homeowners are adamant about. During the summer, the HVAC unit in your home will get a lot of use. While these systems are designed for use on a frequent basis, there is such a thing as overusing them.
When the windows and doors in a home are not properly sealed, it can lead to a lot of cool air escaping. This will usually result in the HVAC unit getting overworked.
Instead of dealing with the damage this overworking can cause, you need to work on fixing these issues.
The best way to address problems with drafts and air leaks is by working with professionals. They will be able to find and seal these leaks in a timely and efficient manner.
See Related: Fronius Smart Meter Review
Ignoring the Need For More Insulation
The only way to discover energy efficiency issues before they do a lot of damage is by performing routine inspections. A homeowner should inspect their residence thoroughly once a month.
When performing these inspections, a homeowner needs to take a look in their attic for signs of insulation problems.
If it feels like you can never get the inside of your home at the right temperature, then you may need to get more insulation.
Calling in insulation professionals to take a look is imperative when trying to discover and fix these problems. If new insulation is needed, then these professionals can get it installed in no time at all. This is one of the more simple ways to conserve energy.
See Related: Sheep Wool Insulation Guide
Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Investing time and money into making your home more energy efficient is also a must. Some homeowners fail to realize just how much money the right energy efficient additions can save them.
The longer you wait to get a handle on your energy waste issues, the harder you will find it to keep your monthly electricity bill affordable.
Did you know that you can get prepaid electricity? Here is our guide to cheap and affordable prepaid electricity.
Read below to find out more about how to make your residence more energy-efficient.
Adjusting Your Thermostat is Beneficial
Are you looking for a way to increase the efficiency of your HVAC unit? If so, utilizing the full power of your thermostat is a must. By turning up your thermostat in the summer and down in the winter, you can reduce the amount of energy your HVAC unit uses.
Most experts recommend setting the thermostat at around 78 degrees during the summer months and 68 during the winter. If your home is well-insulated, you should have no problem maintaining a comfortable temperature.
You can take the efficiency of your HVAC unit one step further by installing a smart thermostat.
With a smart thermostat, you can set the temperature higher during the daytime hours when no one is home.
Once you start to head home, all you need to do is use your smartphone to push down the temperature to ensure it is comfortable once you arrive. The initial cost of a smart thermostat will pale in comparison to the money you save in the long run.
See Related: Flipper Energy Review and Guide
Install More Ceiling Fans
One of the biggest causes of uncomfortable indoor temperatures is a lack of circulation. If the air being produced by your HVAC unit is not getting circulated throughout the home, it will create a lot of problems. This is why investing in more ceiling fans is a great idea.
Not only are ceiling fans affordable, but they are also easy to install as well. By putting ceiling fans in a number of rooms in your home, you can lower the indoor temperature substantially.
If you are unsure about how to select and install new ceiling fans, you may want to contact an electrician for help. With their assistance, getting this home improvement done in a hurry will be a breeze.
Want something more powerful than a ceiling fan? Check out our guide to the best whole house fans, which could be a great alternative to the air conditioning system.
See Related: Electric Meter Reading Guide
Having Your HVAC Unit Maintained is Important
Most homeowners take the functionality of their HVAC unit for granted until it is too late. If this vital piece of equipment is not given the maintenance it needs, serious repair issues are a near certainty. This is why you need to focus on providing your HVAC unit with maintenance.
While most of the maintenance this unit needs will have to be done by professionals, there are some things you can do on your own. One of the main things you need to keep an eye on is the condition of your HVAC filter.
Over time, this filter will get clogged with dirt and dust. When the filter is clogged, air will be unable to pass through.
This will lead to the unit getting overworked, which is why changing out the filter on a bi-monthly basis is a must. Be sure to consult with an HVAC technician to find out more about the best type of filter to put in your home.
See Related: Reasons Why Your Electric Bill is So High
Reduce the Amount of Natural Sunlight Allowed in Your Home
During the summer months, you need to do all you can to keep your home cool and energy-efficient. If you leave your blinds open, a lot of sunlight will enter your residence.
This means that the heat inside of your home will start to rise, which will in turn lead to the HVAC unit having to work even harder.
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of heat generated by direct sunlight is by investing in things like blackout curtains and blinds. With the addition of these window treatments, you can keep your home cool regardless of what the temperature is outside.
Luckily, these windows treatments come in a variety of colors and designs. This means you should have no problem finding items that match your existing décor. See these facts about electricity if you want to learn more.
Working With Professionals is a Good Idea
If you are trying to get an energy audit to find out where problems exist, working with professionals is your best bet. These professionals will be able to inspect your home from top to bottom.
Once they are done, they can provide you with guidance regarding what energy-efficient additions you need.
Do you know how to calculate electricity usage costs and charges? Let us know in the comments below.