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How much does your electricity cost? A kWh calculator can help you find out.
An energy usage calculator will tell you how much power your appliances and electronic devices use. This information is the key to empowering you to save as much on your electricity as possible.
To learn more about the kWh calculator, keep reading.
Understanding the Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)
You may have been asking, “How much electricity do I use?” If so, it helps to understand a few things about home energy.
kWh stands for kilowatt-hour. It’s the unit of measurement for energy. Now, you may wonder, “How much kWh do I use?”
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first, let’s go over some important terms related to measuring energy. These terms will help you understand how companies calculate kilowatt-hours.
Energy equals the work done by an appliance. Imagine that you’re operating a drill.
The drill draws power from the cord that you plug into your wall. Every time the bit rotates, the drill uses energy.
Power means the rate of energy that’s distributed to your drill. For instance, most drills have settings.
The settings enable you to adjust the speed at which the bit rotates. If you set your drill on ten, it’s turning considerably faster than it was when you had it set on one. The higher you set your drill, the more power it will use.
A kilowatt is a measurement of power. It equals 1,000 watts. On average, your drill might use anywhere from 300 to 1,000 watts of power per hour.
kWh and Your Power
A single kilowatt-hour in energy is needed to sustain one kW. Remember, this measurement assumes that power is being sustained for a full hour.
Now, let’s go back to your drill with it set on ten. It will need much more energy to run for an hour compared to if you have it set on one.
In reality, it would take a lot of time for your drill to consume a full kilowatt-hour. Imagine that you have a 500-watt drill.
With it set on low, it uses about 500 watts of power in an hour. It would take two hours of continuous use for your drill to consume a full kWh of energy.
The important thing to remember is that a kWh is a measure of 1,000 watts per hour.
Keeping Things in Order
Let’s look at another example.
Take your average light bulb. One lightbulb may use 30 watts of energy to create light. Another may use 100 watts of power.
You’d need to leave your 100 watt light bulb on for 10 hours to consume one kilowatt-hour of energy. Meanwhile, it would take 33 hours for your 30 watt light bulb to consume a full kWh of energy.
What Is a kWh Calculator?
You’ll need to figure out how much energy you use in kilowatt-hours to compare energy providers. Fortunately, there’s no need to go through your home and try to guess the kilowatt-hour usage of every appliance, large and small, in your home.
Think about your drill. More than likely, you only use it about one minute at a time.
It would take a lot of time over the year to track your usage of the drill. You’d need to write down every time you use the drill to figure out how much power you use in kilowatt-hours. Meanwhile, you’d need to do the same for every appliance in your home.
The results of your monitoring may prove enlightening. However, keeping track of your energy usage in this way is hardly practical.
How to Use a kWh Calculator
At this point, you may wonder, “How do I estimate my electricity usage?” Fortunately, there’s a much easier way to accomplish this task. First, you’ll need to gather 12 months’ worth of energy bills.
No hard copies? No worries.
If you don’t have the physical copies of your electric bills, you can find this information online. Most electric companies allow you to set up an online account where you can review your previous energy usage.
Once you have your energy usage for the previous 12 months, you can enter the kilowatt-hours using our handy online kWh calculator. Now, you have the baseline information required to figure out the best plan for your needs based on your annual energy usage.
Understanding Electricity Costs
Still, you’re probably wondering how much a kWh costs. Unfortunately, that question’s not easily answered.
Here’s where things get a little tricky, even if you’ve used our kWh annual calculator. You’ll need to compare your forecast energy usage to the way that different electric companies charge for service.
Every electric company charges differently for electricity. For instance, different ways of charging for power are:
• Bill credit rates
• Demand rates
• Flat rates
• Introductory rates
• Stepped rates
• Time of day rates
• Weekend rates
You can get buried trying to figure out the different rate structures among all the different electric companies available in your area. Meanwhile, all you want to do is find the best power option for your needs.
How You Get Charged for Electricity
In many areas, the electricity company sets rates. Typically, they’ll charge for electricity by the kWh. However, they might charge differently depending on the plan that you select.
Imagine that you live in an area with several electricity providers. In that case, the deregulation of power companies in 2002 allows utility providers to compete for your business.
Fortunately for you, this means that you can save on electricity. Not to mention, energy consumption has a considerable impact on the environment.
At the same time, you’d need to understand the complex math used by different electrical companies to calculate your bill to truly take advantage of the savings.
Saving on Your Electric Bill
Nearly every power company will advertise their monthly average kWh usage rate for electricity. For instance, they might provide a per kWh rate. However, they’ll break that rate down into general usage categories.
These categories typically include 500, 1,000, and 2,000 kWhs. Of course, the higher the usage category, the lower the cost per kilowatt-hour.
The marketing people at electric companies will present their rates in any way that will make you think theirs is the best. As a result, you’ll typically eventually find out that there are many additional costs hidden in the fine print.
Typical Home Power Usage
It helps to think about the way that you use electricity in your home. This information will help you to figure out your average kWh energy usage per year.
For example, we use a lot of energy to heat and cool our homes. Let’s have a look at the appliances that use the most energy.
Of course, these numbers can vary depending on how you use your appliances. Typical appliances used in homes include:
• Clothes dryers – 360 to 1,500 kWh
• Computers – 150 to 500 kWh
• Dishwashers – 200 to 800 kWh
• Electric ovens – 300 to 700 kWh
• HVAC systems – 2,000 to 4,000 kWh
• Refrigerators – 900 to 2,400 kWh
• TVs – 120 to 500 kWh
• Water heaters – 310 to 570 kWh
As you can see, it can get tricky figuring out your average energy usage. There are a lot of factors that need to go into your estimate.
Apples to Oranges: Comparing Rates
Let’s imagine that you’ve come up with a fairly accurate assessment of your annual energy usage. Now, you’ll need to use that information to compare electricity rates and find the best deal.
There are few methods that you can use to compare energy offerings. Let’s have a look at them.
Compare Rates Online
You can use the internet to compare electricity rates and evaluate the fine print of companies. This research will help you to find the best plan for your needs. However, be prepared to dedicate several hours to this task.
First, you’ll need to create a list of companies in your area. There are both regulated and deregulated energy markets in the United States. If you live in an area where electric utilities are deregulated, you’ll most likely find that there are more than a dozen providers available.
Here, it’s important to understand that some companies are just marketing energy. They don’t actually produce it. Instead, they buy energy from a plant in bulk and resell it to consumers. However, the original power plant is the service provider that actually delivers your electricity.
Compare Rates by Phone
You can also compare energy rates using your phone. Here, you must call each power company to find out more about their available plans.
This method is beneficial in that you get to speak to a live person. A live customer service agent may help you to better understand the details of each company’s plan.
You’ll want to question the representatives thoroughly. For instance, you’ll need to make sure that they specify all fees, terms, and deals associated with their plans.
Again, however, this task will take time. You’ll need to get each customer service agent on the phone.
You’ll also need to spend a considerable amount of time talking to the representatives. This method of researching potential energy providers will also take hours of your time.
Compare Rates With Our Online kWh Calculator
The Energy Professor makes it easy for you to compare available energy plans in your area in minutes. If energy deregulated power service is available in your area, this circumstance gives you access to several power plans.
It gives access to any family to find the right-sized and priced power plan. However, the task of researching various power providers can prove monumental.
At The Energy Professor, we’ll help you take advantage of the best plan for your needs. We’ll even help you find 100% green energy if that’s what you desire. Best of all, we only charge a small monthly fee for the service.
Think of The Energy Professor as your affordable energy advocate. Our professors are committed to educating you about your energy choices. You’ll also get free access to our online tools that will help you to stay informed about how your energy account is performing.
Find the Best Plan For Your Needs
If you’re not using an energy plan that’s custom-tailored to your needs, you’re giving away your money. It’s important to analyze your energy usage for this reason. You must then use that information to research available plans in your area.
Still, we’ve shown you how challenging it can prove to find the most affordable power provider. In addition to researching providers, you must also think about how your family uses electricity.
For instance, what time of day does your family use power for heavy appliances? These appliances might include air conditioners, dryers, and washers.
Also, how do you know which companies charge the best rates for off-peak or nighttime usage? We’ll help you find answers.
Choosing the Best Energy Provider
Electricity is one of the few services left where everyone’s offering is pretty much the same. In the end, the only difference comes down to price. Accordingly, it makes sense to find the lowest rate possible for your utilities.
In many cases, however, the energy plans that appear the most affordable only remain at that rate for an introductory period of six months. It’s important to realize that you’re taking a gamble with these kinds of plans.
The energy provider can increase your energy costs significantly depending on your service arrangement. Hopefully, you’ve read the fine print of the agreement.
You should always read the Electricity Fact Label (EFL) before you sign up for any energy service that seems to offer an exceptionally low rate. Here, energy providers must detail any additional costs that they’ll add to your bill.
The Best kWh Calculator
Of course, we believe that we have the best kWh usage calculator around. However, what makes our electricity calculator for home energy the best is the service that comes with it.
At The Energy Professor, it’s our mission to provide you with a hassle-free energy buying experience. What’s more, we promise to make the entire process transparent.
More importantly, will do everything for you. For example, will compare the best electricity rates for your needs. We’ll even enroll you in the plan of your choice.
Still, there are more great benefits for our members. Remember, we’ll find the best energy rate possible based on your preferences.
Furthermore, we’ll handle all of your account management. In fact, we’ll do everything from finding a new supplier to enrolling you in an energy plan. We’ll also manage any customer service requests that you may have.
Stay Connected at the Best Rate!
Believe it or not, there’s more. Not only do we find you the best rate on energy, but The Energy Professor will also make sure you always have the best rate.
We’ll actively monitor the market as rates change. Based on the changing market, we’ll make sure that you’re always enrolled in the best plan for your needs.
The Energy Professor also provides you with all the tools you need to reduce your energy consumption. For instance, membership entitles you to energy estimates that will help you create your yearly budget.
We’ll also keep you updated with monthly updates. When you trust us to manage your energy needs, you’ll always know exactly how your account is performing.
Start Saving Money Now
We hope that our overview of the kWh calculator has delivered some insight. We also hope that you can now see how partnering with The Energy Professor can help you to save on utility costs year after year.
Don’t pay extra for energy another day. Contact us today to get a fast, free energy quote.