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.
|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|
|Number of People in Household||Average kWh Usage Per Month|
|Radio (3 hours per day)||7 kWh per month|
|Television (3 hours per day)||33 kWh per month|
|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|
|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|