Nearly all adults in the United States have an electricity bill, but how many understand their bill? Recent information showed that the average residential electricity customer in the US used about 914 kWh of electricity per month.
After taking a look at your electricity bill, do you understand how your provider arrived at the numbers? Have you ever wondered if you could estimate your next month’s bill?
If so, keep reading to learn more about calculating your electric bill.
Reading Your Meter
If you have an energy bill, it is important to understand how to read your meter.
Being able to read your meter will help with being able to estimate your costs and will also allow you to ensure your provider is completing accurate readings and that your bill is correct.
Ceiling lights, phone chargers, your bedside lamp, and all of your appliances all contribute to your total electricity bill. Thankfully, once you learn how to calculate the cost of individual items, you will be able to moderate your usage of things that use more energy than others to lower your bill.
Smart meters and digital meters make the process simple. All that you need to do is look at your meter and take note of the first five numbers that you see.
Calculating Your Electric Bill
Calculating your electricity bill does not need to be complicated. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you need to take to get started.
- Take a look at your most recent statement and find out what the last reading was and take note of the number.
- Subtract the number you found on your previous bill from the current reading on your meter to arrive at the kilowatts per hour (kWh) used in the last month.
- Look on your bill to find out what your provider’s charge is for one kilowatt-hour and multiply that by the kWh for the month.
- Add on any fixed fees that are charged to that number, and you have your final bill amount!
Electricity rates vary by company, so once you have figured out this information, it is a good idea to shop around with other providers in your area.
Calculating Individual Items
To take things a step further from calculating your monthly bill yourself, you are also able to calculate an estimate for the cost of powering individual items.
- Find the wattage for the device you want to estimate usage for. It is usually on a label and has a “W” after the number.
- Estimate the number of hours the device is used per day.
- Multiply the wattage by the hours of use.
- Divide that number by 1000, and then multiply it by the kilowatt per hour rate for your provider.
That may take a little time, but it is well worth the effort to be able to lower your usage of devices that are negatively impacting your bill.
Use with Confidence
Once you understand the basics of your bill and how it’s calculated, you can take ownership of using your electricity wisely, lowering your electric bill and ensuring your bill is accurate.
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