The cost of Electricity is constantly increasing, and because virtually every appliance and gadget in our home is powered by Electricity, we are feeling the pain of each increase. Often we look at our Electricity bill and wonder how has it suddenly become so much?, and what is using so much Electricity?.
An Electricity Meter is used to measure the total cost of Electricity consumed, so the first thing to do is to check that the reading on your energy bill is accurate and hasn’t been estimated, and to always supply an up to date, accurate reading to your Electricity supplier on a regular basis. However, what an Electricity Meter cannot do, is to identify the physical running cost of each Electrical appliance in the home.
In the average household there can be hundreds of appliances, all with different power consumptions. These range from items such as Digital Clocks & Phone Chargers which consume very little Electricity, right up to power hungry appliances such as Immersion Heaters, Convector Heaters, Tumble Dryers etc.
In fact, even before you calculate the cost of running an Appliance, it is safe to assume that if it contains any form of heating element, then it is going to consume large amounts of Electricity and be expensive to run.
Appliances such as Kettles and Electric Showers, also use significant amounts of Electricity, but because their usage is generally only for short periods, they contribute to only a small percentage of the Electricity Bill. That said, if you frequently boil a full kettle or have several people taking long showers twice a day, then in larger households, the cost of these two examples can add up and become a factor in the size of your Electricity bill. So the advice here, is to only boil the amount of water you need in a kettle and to take quick showers!.
So lets work out the actual cost of running those Appliances in your home. In order to do this, you will need to know three things.
Your Current Electricity cost – This can be found on one of your latest bills, and will be shown as ‘Per Unit’ or ‘Per Kw/h’ – at the time of writing this, the average cost of Electricity in the UK is 12p per kw/h, but different tariffs and regions have different energy rates, so it is important that you find this information.
The Wattage of the Appliance – There will be a label or a metal plate attached to the back / underside of the appliance, this will show the rating of the appliance, and will look something like this
Volts:- 230v – 240v Watts:- 2000 Hz:- 50
We need the ‘Watts’ information, from this label. If there is no label on the appliance, often you can sometimes also obtain the information from the Manual or Instruction book.
Finally you will need to work out how long the appliance runs for, this is easy for things like TV Sets or Lights which run continuously when physically switched on, however it can be slightly trickier to work out this figure for appliances such as fridges, which are connected 24/7 and switch themselves on / off using a thermostat, so you may need to take a guess at those figures or consult the instruction manual for the estimated annual energy usage.
Once you have all of the above information, enter it into the Energy Running Cost Calculator below, in order to find out how much the appliance costs to run. (The calculator displays in ‘$’ but will be the same figure in any currency, simply substitute the ‘$’ with your own local currency)