There’s no doubt that people have all sorts of questions regarding their electricity bills. But by far, the most common one is — how do I find out how much I pay for electricity? In the wake of increasing energy prices, households are more interested in learning every detail about their electricity bills. Some of them just want to find ways to reduce their costs, while others want to know if solar energy will actually help lower their bills.
Yet, no matter which side you find yourself on, we’re here to help! This article will explain the ins and outs of electricity consumption and help you understand your energy bill better. But first, let’s start with the basics!
How Utility Companies Calculate Your Energy Consumption
First of all, you need to know that electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh. How much you end up paying depends heavily on the amount of electricity you consume and its price. In other words, you can get a rough estimate of your monthly bill by multiplying the cost of a kWh by the number of kWh you have used.
How Can I Figure Out How Much Electricity I Consume?
If you want to get an accurate number of your consumption, you’ll have to use modern technology like smart plugs. These devices can tell you exactly how much electricity a specific appliance consumes, so you can use that information to estimate your costs. Or, you can just check your building meter at the beginning and end of a month and divide the two to get your entire home’s consumption.
However, you can also use some simple, old-fashioned arithmetic. To do that, you’ll need to know how much wattage an appliance needs, the number of hours that you’ll keep it turned on per day, and the price you pay per kWh of electricity.
For starters, you can find your kWh rate right on your previous electric bill or by contacting your utility company. Next, to determine the wattage of a specific appliance, you can look for a metal plate or label at the back or bottom of the device. If you are unable to find the label, you can check the appliance’s documentation or search online for its technical specifications.
After you’ve got your data, you can use this formula to calculate the costs:
- Multiply your appliance’s wattage with the number of hours that you use it per day
- Divide the result by 1,000
- Multiply by your kWh rate
Let’s assume that you have a 150-watt TV that you watch five hours per day. You multiply 150 by 5 to get a daily consumption of 750 watts. Then, you divide that number by 1,000 to convert kW to 0.75 kWh. At an average electricity rate of 12 cents per kWh, you will have to pay 9 cents per day to use your TV (0.75 kWh x 0.12 = 0.09).
If you want to get your monthly consumption, you just multiply 0.09 by 30, and you get $2.70. Therefore, you can say that your TV will account for $2.70 of your entire monthly energy bill. So, if you want to calculate your entire consumption, you just have to repeat the process for every appliance and add them all together.
What Other Costs Affect the Overall Energy Bill?
You should also note that, besides your consumption, there are other taxes and fees that go into your electricity bill. While these vary from provider to provider, it’s still vital to understand how they work.
This fee guarantees that your electric company has enough capacity to cover the total demand of its customers. Although you can’t really change how this rate is assessed, you can help lower it just a bit for all nearby consumers by reducing your consumption during peak hours. Remember that peak hours vary by season and location, so make sure to contact your provider and request more information.
Utility Delivery Charge
The delivery fee covers your provider’s maintenance and upkeep. It should help reduce the chance of power outages and ensure power consistency. Keep in mind that some companies list this charge as transmission fee or something similar. Yet, the impact on your bill should remain the same.
Knowing how much you pay for electricity is vital, especially if you are considering switching to alternative forms of energy. Fortunately, calculating your costs is easier than ever, regardless of which method you choose. And, if you need any more help, you can always contact your utility company and ask for a breakdown of your energy bill.