It may come as a shock to you, but now that technology is more advanced than ever, we have more gadgets and appliances in our homes than we know what to do with. No matter where you look in my house, it seems as though there is something you have to “turn on” or “plug-in” in every corner of every room.
Granted, most of these things are necessary for our hectic and busy American lives, but do you know how much it’s costing you to use all of those gadgets and appliances every day? Before diving into some of these mind-blowing facts, we will need to get the relevant terms correct.
If you don’t already know, a kilowatt hour (kWh) is a unit used to measure electricity consumption by electricity suppliers. 1,000 watts is equal to 1 kWh, which is equal to 60 minutes. When supply companies price your household electricity supply, they do it based on cents per kWh. So, for each hour that your appliance is running, you can technically calculate how much money it will cost you.
Here are the formulas for that:
Daily Consumption Costs:
*Wattage of Appliance x Hours Used Per Day = Daily kW Consumption
Daily kWh Consumption /1,000 x kW Rate = Cost Per Day
Annual Consumption Costs:
Wattage of Appliance x Hours Used Per Day x Days Used Per Year = Yearly kW Consumption
Yearly kWh Consumption / 1,000 x kW Rate = Cost Per Year
- Keep in mind that (1 kW = 1,000 Watts)
- To find “kW Rate,” simply refer to the supply portion of your latest electric bill.
To help you better understand how this calculation works, I will take four popular appliances from my own home that are used on a daily basis and calculate the yearly cost of running them. By doing a quick Google search on the brand and model of each appliance, I was able to find how many watts each appliance uses. To help you get a better sense of the monsters I’m about to analyze, look at the pictures below.
For demonstration purposes, I will pretend the electricity supply rate is $0.10 cents per kWh.
|Appliance||Watts||x||Hours Per Day||x||Days Used Per Year||/||Convert to kWh||x||kW Rate||=||Cost Per Year|
|TV – 46” LED HDTV||166||x||4||x||350||/||1,000||x||0.10||=||$232.40|
The results are so interesting to me! I never would have thought that my hairdryer uses almost as much electricity to operate as my TV does. Just by doing a little digging around to find out the wattage of each appliance, I was able to see the numbers that I could never visualize before this exercise. Now, I have a better picture of what the gadgets in my house are costing me.
Like I said earlier, everyone will have appliances with different wattages, as well as different consumption habits. For example, your household might only use the TV for an hour a day but use the oven for two. Each house will be different, which is why this simple exercise can be personalized for everyone. If you would like more general information about how much your appliances are costing you, check out General Electric’s Data Visualization page.
I hope this helps you visualize your energy usage, especially since electricity is not exactly a tangible thing…
*Note: appliance wattage will be different depending on model and brand of product.