Meter Reading Chart

How to Read Your Meter and Why It's Important

Your meter calculates costs based on a per Kilowatt hour (kWh) basis. A kWh is based on 1000 watts of power being used for one hour.

By reading your meter daily and using a little bit of simple math, you can help plan your electric bill each month. In times of extreme heat or cold, reading your meter each day can help you conserve energy and minimize weather related usage.

Start by determining how much your ideal electric bill would be and use this formula so you can figure out how many kilowatt hours you can use each month.

Budgeted Amount divided by 0.09 (all electric) = Budgeted kWh

Budgeted kWh divided by 30 days = Daily kWh usage goal

For Example, if you want your bill to be no more than $150/month,

$150 divided by 0.09 = 1,667 kWh

1,667kWh divided by 30 days = 56 kWh per day

To monitor your daily usage, read your meter at the same time each day and subtract one number from the other.  This will give you your daily kWh usage.

With this in mind, start by getting some idea of how much each appliance typically uses.

Home or office, a refrigerator is always on. At 9 cents per kWh a 180-Watt Refrigerator costs $11.66 per month.

Lights, air-conditioning in summer, heat in winter, TV sets and computers are among the devices we power-up everyday often for hours at a time. 

Toasters, microwaves, hairdryers, and battery chargers are examples of the types of electric equipment we use daily but for short periods

To calculate the exact usage of an electrical item, use this simple formula.

Wattage divided by 1,000 = kW

kW times hours run per month = kWh

kWh times 9 cents = monthly cost

For example, a 100 watt light bulb runs 300 hours per month (10 hours per day).

100 watts divided by 1,000 = 0.1kW

0.1kW x 300 hours = 30kWh per month.

30kWh x $0.09 = $2.70 per month

This chart provides an idea of how many kWh per hour typical household electric-things consume.

Cooking

Coffee Maker .2 kWh per hour
Dishwasher 4.3 kWh per use
Freezer 180 kWh per month
Microwave Oven 1 kWh per hour
Range 100 kWh per month
Refrigerator 180 kWh per month
Toaster 3.3 kWh per month
Toaster Oven .5 kWh per hour
Garbage Disposal 2.5 kWh per month

Water Heating

Number of People in Household Average kWh Usage Per Month
1 117 kWh
2 202 kWh
3 287 kWh
4 374 kWh
5 456 kWh
6 541 kWh

 Home Entertainment

Radio (3 hours per day) 7 kWh per month
Television (3 hours per day) 33 kWh per month

 Miscellaneous

Clock 1.4 kWh per month
Heating Pad .06 kWh per hour
Light Bulb .1 kWh per hour
Well Pump 1 kWh per hour
Pool Pump 1 kWh per hour

 Air Conditioning (Assumption: 12 SEER)

1 Ton 1 kWh per hour
2 Tons 2 kWh per hour
3 Tons 3 kWh per hour
4 Tons 4 kWh per hour
5 Tons 5 kWh per hour

Laundry

Dryer 4 kWh per load
Iron (1 1/2 hour per week) .5 kWh per month
Washer (hot wash, warm rinse) 4.5 kWh per use
Washer (hot wash, cold rinse) 2.8 kWh per use
Washer (warm wash, warm rinse) 3.5 kWh per use
Washer (warm wash, cold rinse) 1.9 kWh per use
Washer (cold wash, cold rinse) .3 kWh per use