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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Useful Information

High natural gas bills aside, you can easily calculate how much electricity you are using to help lower bills.

Take the wattage of a light bulb (it is printed on the bulb it self) and multiply that number by how many hours in one day the bulb is lit. Then multiply this number by 30 (about how many days there are in each month). Divide this number by 1,000. This gives you the KWH used by the bulb a month.

Get your electric bill. Look on the back and see what your electric company charges you for a KWH or Kilowatt-hour (if it does not say, divide the KWH used by the dollar amount of that month’s charges). Multiply the KWH usage by the KWH charge and you will see what your electric company charges you per month to keep that bulb lit.


The bulb of brilliance over Tommy’s head is a 120 Watt bulb. My bulb is on for 8 hours per day. There is about 30 days in each month (average)…so… KWH= 120watt bulb X 8 hours X 30days/1000 = 28.8KWH.

KCPL charges me $.198 for a KWH. 28.8* .198. That means it costs me about $5.70 per month to keep this light bulb over my head, or $.19 per day. Very cheap at the price.

You can use this formula for just about any appliance. On the back or the underside of almost everything that plugs into an electrical outlet is an Underwriters Laboratories label. On this label you should see how many Watts an appliance uses or how many Amps it draws. If it shows the Watt’s, then you can use it the same formula above.


My toaster is 900 Watts (it says on the UL sticker). I use it about 2 minutes per week (I make light toast once per week), or let’s say 9 minutes a month. 9 minutes is .15/hour. So we multiply this by 900 and we get 135, and divided by 1000, we get 0.135. KCPL charges me $.198 for a KWH, so it costs me $.02 (two cents!) per month to toast my bread.

I have an 1100 Watt microwave oven. I use this often, at full power. I figure I have it on for 3 minutes per day. So, (3*30)/60= 1.5 hours. I have my 1100 Watt microwave running at full power 90 minutes every month. If you multiply 1100 Watts by 1.5 you get 1650. Divide by 1000 and you get 1.65 KWH. They charge me $.198 for a KWH, so it costs me $.33 per month to run my microwave.

If you look on a UL sticker and you do not see how many Watts an appliance uses, but it does show Amps, here is an easy calculation to convert Amps to Watts (in America):

Amps*Volts=Watts (Use 120v in America)

I have a vacuum that pulls 10 Amps. That means it uses 1200 Watts. I never use it, so this appliance costs me $0.00 per year.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks TM, I will save a whole 12 cents per month! Ass

11/06/2005 12:23 AM  

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