Saving Electricity

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 4:25 PM

Posted by: Liliam Huckleberry

When it comes to paying my electric and gas bill, I always wonder why I have to pay so much money. After all in my house there are only two people that leave in it, my husband and me. My last month bill was, 125 dollars of which 92 dollars was in electricity alone, the rest went to pay for gas. I know that the month of January is a typical cold month, but to have used that much electricity just seems a lot, for only two people.

To me gas and electricity cost, is an expense that I can have complete control over. For example, I know that if I unplug my electric appliances I can save electricity. If I turn the thermostat off for a couple of hours, I can save gas and electricity. It is the same concept as to opting to bike to work or school in order to save gas money. I always wonder however, as to why is so much easier to change from driving a car, to riding a bike, then it is to changing from using too much electricity, to using less.

Then it came to me. The answer is “we don’t know how to make this change” The changes I should make are not as clear, as it is when switching from driving a car to riding a bike. Is either the bike or the car, you can’t use both. Also by doing so, the rewards are seen immediately. Either you drive a car and spend money on gas, or you ride your bike and save that money, as simple as that. However, when it comes to changing from using too much electricity to using less, the results may not seem that great or you will see no results it all, even when making the necessary changes.

These were some of the questions I had, which I think many of you also do. Since I don’t even know what a kilowatt is, or how much a kilowatt cost? And why is it that my electric bill changes month to month? So I went looking for some answers, and this is what I found.

Your electric company measures your electricity in watts. However, your electric meter reads your electricity usage in kilowatts per hour (KWh). So, here is the first confusion, we have to convert watts into kilowatts-per hour. Simply divide 100watts/1000killowats=.1kWh. Now that we know how to get kilowatts, let’s show an example. Say you have one light bulb that uses 300 watts per hour, and you use that light bulb for 240 hours a month, which is about (8 hours a day).
Therefore, 100 watts/1000=.1killowatts per hour. The total kWh is 240 x .1KWh = 24 kWh per month. To calculate the dollar figure, multiply 24 x 7.4 cents per kilowatt hour ($1.78). So, if you have 5 light bulbs in your house, multiply ($1.78 x 6) = $10.68 cents this is about ~11.00 per month, just on light bulbs. Want another example on how to calculate your electricity? Visit http://www.duke-energy.com/ohio/savings/electric-usage-faq.asp

There are many factors that affect your electric bill charges, weather, fire place usage, going on a vacation also can increase you electric bill. For example weather changes, like temperature, wind, sun, and clouds all these different fluctuations directly reflect your monthly charges. You may think that by burning a fire in your fire place will save you money, but the opposite is most likely to happen, because an open fireplace flue allows your home’s heat to escape.

This past December I took a small trip for a week, I thought I would save energy since I wasn’t going to be home. I turned everything of and took off. Two weeks after, I got my electric bill and the bill didn’t change one bit. One of the explanations I found to justify this was that my water heater, refrigerator, and freezer was still on. Also I did more loads of laundry then I usually do before I left, and that must have been the reason why I did not save electricity. Want tips on lowering your electric bill? Visit http://www.chiff.com/a/cut-heat-bills.htm for more information.

I hope that knowing how to calculate your electricity and properly dealing with the fluctuations that the weather brings, can help you save some money on your next electric bill.

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1 comments

  1. Every home owners must have a knowledge of this. It's practical to everyone.

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