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Learn how to calculate your own electric bill for any item and determine approximate savings when implementing an energy saving step.

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Everyone seems to be on the "Going Green" bandwagon lately and they are telling you how much you are going to save. At times, the savings sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately, most of the sales-pitch hype out there can easily become misleading. calculate electric billSo what is the average homeowner to do? Time to bring out the accountant in you!


Even if you don't like math here are ways for calculating how much electricity any appliance uses:

First let us understand the formula that can be used to figure out the electric bill for anything. So get your pencil and calculator.

The first part of the formula is knowing how many watts the appliance uses. The old standard light bulb is the easiest to find out. incandescent bulb100 watt bulbJust look on the top of the incandescent bulb and it will say: 60, 75 or 100 watts.

With appliances you may have to do an extra step. On the back or bottom of the appliance there will be data on a label, tin plate, sticker, or stamped into the product. If the watts are not shown on this label, then find how many Amps the appliance uses.
amps on fanOnce you know the Amps you can calculate the watts used. The free standing fan on the right uses less than half an Amp, 0.40. Are you still with me? (continued at top)

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The formula for finding out how many watts that are
being used is:

Amps multiply Volts equals Watts
[Amps X Volts = Watts]

 
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electric outletNow since we are plugging all appliances into an electric outlet used here in the United States, the standard Volts for all homes in America is 120 volts.
So when you only have the Amps on a hair dryer, (hair dryer example has 12.5 amps on the label) to find out how many watts your hair dryer uses, (or any appliance) use the formula above and see Hair Dryer example below:


12.5 amps X 120 volts = 1,500 watts for the hair dryer!

The embossed plastic on the back of the printer below has the watts listed: 20W Maximum. So you don't have to use the above formula.

printer . printer label . printer watts

fan . electric hair dryer . calculate lower electric bills .
(continued below for the formula to calculate your electric cost)

 

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So now let us find out the electric cost for these hair dryers. We actually did this for a client who has two hair dryers and four teenage girls. They all wash and dry their hair every night. Each one uses the hair dryer for an average of ten minutes, including the client and her husband. We have a total use of one hour every day with each person using the hair dryer about ten minutes each. Below is how you calculate the electric cost and if the electric bill is really high they may all start to "air" dry their hair or use a towel.

Watts X Hours/day X Days/week X Weeks/year divided by 1,000 (one kilowatt hour) X Kwh rate*

1,500 X 1 X 7 X 52 = 546,000 watts/yr. divided by 1,000 = 546 Kilowatt hrs. X .14 Kwh rate = $76.44/yr.
The total $76.44 per year works out to about .21 per day.
Everyone in the family voted for the hair dryer over the towel dry, except the father.
NOTE: If the family had gone on vacation for one week durning the year, then only 51 would be used, not 52 for weeks per year.

 

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Another client used 2 portable electrical heaters in the Den every night during the winter. The Den was added to the house and had only one vent for warm air to heat the room. He needed to add an additional vent in the Den for more heat, but labor would cost $250.00. Should he continue using the electric heaters that were on a timer or pay to install the extra vent? The heaters use 1,500 watts each. (We are using 22 weeks in the formula below for winter)

3,000 watts X 5 X 7 X 22 = 2,310,000 divided by 1,000 = 2310 X .14* = $ 323.40

Yes, he invested the $250.00 to save $73.40 the first winter and then
saved $323.40 every winter thereafter. His payback was within one winter!

*You get your Kilowatt hour rate from your power company's customer service or it may be on your monthly bill.
The 14 cent Kilowatt rate used above is about the Nation's average.

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WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY!


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