You must figure out the ways to calculate electricity consumption should you want to map out an energy-effective strategy for your household. All the appliance and electronics in your home contribute a little something to the total bill. It’s key to identify the biggest energy hogs and reduce their usage to keep the utility bills in check. To do that, you have to find out the approximate energy consumption in your residence.
4 Easy Ways to Calculate Electricity Consumption
Not much calculation goes into the drafting of the energy cost. To find out the consumption of a particular gadget in a given day, you just have to know how many watts it uses and how many hours a day it runs.
Follow these 4 steps to calculate electricity consumption per month:
Step 1 – count the total watts per day
The first step is to multiply the wattage of an electronic instrument by the total hours it keeps running a day. The figure will be the number of total watt-hours, which that specific device consumes each day. For example, if your TV is 120 watts and you play it for four hours a day, the calculated number will be 480 watt-hours each day. Similarly, a 500-watt refrigerator will consume (if run for 24/7) 12,000 watt-hours per day.
Step 2 – convert the number to kilowatts
Kilowatt-hours are the standard unit for calculating the utility bills. We know that 1 kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts. If all the appliances in your house consume 30,000 watts each day, for example, the figure will be 30 kilowatts after the conversion.
Step 3 – compute the total usage for a certain period
Now, it’s time to calculate how much your electricity usage is going to cost you. Multiply the kilowatt (30 in this case) by 30 if your provider charges you monthly. Otherwise, multiply by 14 should you pay bills fortnightly. The monthly consumption will be 900 kilowatts.
Step 4 – finalize the total cost
Check your last month’s electricity bill and see the rate charged for per kWh is. Multiply it by total kWh you counted up at step 3. Let’s say, you pay 10 cents for each kWh. It makes the monthly bill $90 (for 900kWh). By applying this formula, you can also figure out the monthly cost for a single device.
How to Find out the Wattage?
One crucial point of performing this calculation is to find the watts of your home appliances. Most electronics have a label mentioning the number. Otherwise, checking the owner’s manual will be a good idea. If you have lost it and can’t find the label, apply the following tools:
Wattage Measuring Device
It’s the easiest way to find how much power a device uses. Simply plug an appliance into it, and its display will show the wattage. This measuring tool is also suitable for counting the consumption by kWh and calculating the expenses by a day, week, month, and year. Also, it displays amps and volts with only a minimal percentage of inaccuracy.
The advanced versions are more useful in saving electricity because you can program them to turn off and on for a specific machine. Their backup batteries will store the information even after disconnecting from the outlet.
These are especially useful for finding the total kWh consumed in a given period of time by the appliances that don’t run 24/7, including TVs, computers, and toasters. Just keep the tool connected to the appliance to get the reading.
One downside is you have to connect it to all the electronics one by one to calculate electricity consumption. Also, the monitors are only compatible with devices that run on up to 120 volts. You have to find a different measuring tool for equipment running at 220 volts or more.
It’s the best tool if you are living in a smart home. Just plug it into a smart outlet to monitor and measure the energy consumption. It will display the total kWh used along with the option of turning off lights and other electronic items remotely.
It costs way more than a measuring device, but it doubles as a home automation smart outlet too!
Whole-House Energy Monitoring Device
This tool will provide detailed data on the energy usage of the entire home. The features may vary from model to model, but all the versions can count the wattage usage of 240-volt appliances.
Most of these devices need to be installed in the main circuit breaker of the house. They show the data directly on their screen. Others need to be connected to the building’s wireless network so that information can be viewed on a smartphone or computer.
These monitors are expensive, and only a professional electrician should install them. Nevertheless, the data derived from such a device will help you pinpoint the power sucker in the home, allowing to create a strategy that lowers the energy costs.
What to Do with the Consumption Info?
Now you know how to calculate electricity consumption and the cost for that amount of energy usage. What to do with it? Well, that’s up to you. The truth is you just can’t stop using all the appliances to save cash! Be smart and selective about what you plug and unplug. In addition, discard the habit of keeping the devices in standby mode, use power strips to make it easier to power off a specific tool, and purchase ENERGY STAR appliances because the older models use more energy.