Basic Information about Electricity Cost

Electricity Cost principles involve looking at how much electricity consumption and we have to understand how it’s measured. Electricity Cost is determined at any moment and is measured in watts consumed.

For example:

  • A 100-watt light bulb uses 100 watts
  • A typical desktop computer uses 65 watts
  • A central air conditioner uses about 3500 watts

electricity rates

To know the Electricity Cost and how much energy you’re using you have to consider how long you run your appliances. When you use 1000 watts for an hour, that’s a kilowatt-hour.

For example:

  • Ten 100-watt light bulbs on for an hour, is 1 kWh
  • Ten 100-watt light bulbs on for 1/2 an hour, is 0.5 kWh
  • Ten 50-watt light bulbs on for an hour, is 0.5 kWh
  • One 60-watt light bulb on for an hour, is 0.06 kWh (60/1000)
  • Running a 3500-watt air conditioner for an hour is 3.5 kWh.

The average U.S. household used 10,654 kWh a year in 2001, or 888 kWh/mo. (Dept. of Energy) The U.S. as a whole used 3,883 billion kWh in 2003, or 13,868 kwH per person based on a population of 280 million. (Dept. of Energy)


For smaller items we use the term watt-hours instead of kilowatt-hours. For example, we say a 60-watt light bulb uses 60 watt-hours of electricity, not 0.060 kWh. Note that the “-hours” part is important. Without it we’d have no idea what period of time we were talking about. If you ever see a reference without the amount of time specified, it’s almost certainly per hour. If your device lists amps instead of watts, then just multiply the amps times the voltage to get the watts.

For example:

2.5 amps x 120 volts = 300 watts

How much does electricity cost?

Electricity Rates  depends on where you live, how much you use, and possibly when you use it. There are also fixed charges that you pay every month no matter how much electricity you use. For example, I pay $6/mo. for the privilege of being a customer of the electric company, no matter how much energy I use.

Check your utility bill for the rates in your area. If it’s not on your bill then look it up on the utility’s website.

The electric company measures how much electricity you use in kilowatt-hours. The abbreviation for killowatt-hour is kWh. Note that on your bill there can be multiple charges per kWh (e.g., one for the “base rate”, another for “fuel”) and you have to add them all up to get the total cost per kWh.

Most utility companies charge a higher rate when you use more than a certain amount of energy, and they also charge more during summer months when electric use is higher.

For more information about electricity consumption and how get good electricity rates and packages, check your local full-service Retail Electricity Provider (REP) for residential and commercial customers nearest you.

Now, lets pause and think for a while. Electricity cost is getting higher as years goes by. In my opinion in the long run shifting to renewable energy will save a lot of dollars and may prolong the life of our planet.



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