26 October 2010

Be ‘Greener’ & Save On Energy Costs

We thought we would continue the theme of household economy and that all-important need to save money on fuel costs in the current economic climate. How many of you know how to calculate the cost of running your electrical appliances?

Well, it is not as difficult as it may at first appear, having a real insight into the cost of your everyday electricity consumption is a very good starting point for any household economy measure, and it’s also good for the environment to.

All electrical appliances will display their energy requirements in Watts; the Watt is a standard unit of power.

Electricity is metered in units known as Kilowatt Hours or KWh, this is a standard reference which translates to the cost unit of electricity or just the ‘unit’ that most of us have seen on our bills. 1KWh is equivalent to the amount of energy used by a 1000-Watt load or appliance over the course of an hour i.e. a 3000 Watt (3KW) immersion heater will use 3KWh each hour, or 3 cost units of electricity.

The numbers displayed on your electricity meter show the number of KWh’s that you have used.

To determine how much any other appliance is costing to run first you will need to find out how much your electricity supplier charges per unit or KWh — typically around 14 to 18p at the moment, but this should show on your bill.

Now — deep breaths — below is an example of the cost / power formula, it is quite simple really.

Here is an example: my electricity supplier charges 18 pence per unit and I have just run an 800-Watt microwave oven for 10 minutes.

800 divided by 1000 = 0.8 it has been running for 10 minutes so 10 divided by 60 = 0.166 and now we multiply those two results so 0.8 X 0.166 = 0.132 and lastly we want to multiply the unit cost of 18p by that figure so 0.132 X 18 = 2.3. My microwave has just used 2.3 pence worth of electricity.

Hopefully that wasn’t too daunting, but you can experiment with the formula to get something of an insight into how much your appliances cost to run.

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