OPERATING COSTS OF HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES


Where does all that electricity go?

When you receive your monthly electric bill, do you know where the power was used?

This graph shows how energy is used in the average home. Your use may vary depending on your lifestyle, the size of your family and the size and age of your appliances. The amount used also varies with the weather and the seasons.

Once you have an idea how the electricity is being used, you may be able to figure out ways to cut back. Or you may find that the cost of operating all those electrical appliances and heating your hot water is worth it.

When trying to conserve energy, concentrate on the areas of large usage. In winter, heating will be over one half of the energy going into the home. The next area with the greatest potential for savings will be your hot water heater.

Compute your appliance cost

Bills are figured on your use of kilowatt hours, which are 1,000 watt hours. You can figure the cost per month for an appliance from its wattage.

For example, let's say that all of the light bulbs in your house are 100 watts, and your family has had the lights on for a total of 200 hours last month. Multiply the 200 hours last month by the 100 watts and you have 20,000 watt hours, or 20 kilowatt hours. Multiply the 20 kilowatt hours times the cost per kilowatt hour. If each kilowatt costs 6 cents, the lights cost $1.20 for the month.

Appliances which produce heat take the most electricity. A space heater may take 1,500 watts per hour. Let's say the heater is run four hours a day. Four times 1,500 gives us 6,000 watts per day and 180,000 watts in a 30-day month (180 kilowatt hours). Multiply the 180 kilowatt hours times 6 cents and you'll find that it costs $10.80 to operate the space heater four a hours day for a month.

The costs computed for use are based on the energy consumed for typical appliances and the average use of the appliances. Your individual appliances and use patterns may vary, so you may want to figure exactly what it costs to operate your specific appliance. It's not very difficult if you have the correct information.

All electrical appliances have the wattage listed somewhere on the appliance. You can use this figure to determine the cost of operation. For example, an electric space heater which lists 1,300 as the wattage, costs 7.8¢ per hour to operate. Here's how that figure is reached:

Example:

1,300 watts ÷ 1,000 (watts per kWh)

1.3kWh x 6¢ per hour = 7.8¢ per hour

Wattage of appliance ÷ 1,000 x Hours used per month = kWh per month

To figure operating cost per month:

kWH used per month x Your cost per kWh = Operating cost per month

Thermostatically controlled appliances are not "on" 100 percent of the time. An electric oven, for example, is "on" about 50 percent of the time when baking.

Typical Operating Costs of Electric Household Appliances

Appliance
Typical
Wattage
Estimated Hours
Used Per Month
Estimated
Monthly kWh
Cost Per Month
at 7.8¢ Per kWh

Air Conditioner (12,000 BTU)
1500
200.0
300.0
$23.40
Air Conditioner (36,000 BTU)
4500
200.0
900.0
70.20
Auto Engine Heater
600
40.0
24.0
1.87
Battery Charger (Car)
150
15.0
2.3
.18
Blender
385
2.0
.8
.06
Bug Zapper
40
300.0
12.0
.94
CD, Tape, Radio, Receiver System
250
60.0
15.0
1.17
Clock
3
730.0
2.2
.17
Clothes Dryer
5000
17.0
85.0
6.63
Coffee Maker (Auto Drip)
1165
4.0
4.7
.37
Compactor
400
10.0
4.0
.31
Computer (With Monitor and Printer)
365
75.0
27.4
2.14
Convection Oven
1500
8.0
12.0
.94
Curling Iron
1500
5.0
7.2
.56
Dehumidifier (20 Pints, Summer)
450
360.0
162.0
12.64
Dishwasher (Dry Cycle)
1200
25.0
30.0
2.34
Dishwasher (Wash Cycle)
200
25.0
5.0
.39
Disposal
420
60.0
25.2
1.97
Electric Blanket
175
180.0
31.5
2.46
Electric Heat (Baseboard, Furnace, Heat Pump)
Call Cornhusker Power for a heating estimate.
Fan (Attic)
400
71.0
28.4
2.22
Fan (Ceiling)
80
150.0
12.0
.94
Freezer (Automatic Defrost 15 cu. ft.)
440
334.0
147.0
11.47
Freezer (Manual Defrost, 15 cu. ft.)
350
292.0
102.2
7.97
Fry Pan
1200
10.0
12.0
.94
Garage Door Opener
350
3.0
1.1
.09
Hair Dryer (Hand Held)
1000
10.0
10.0
.78
Heat Lamp
250
5.0
1.3
.10
Heat Tape (30ft., Winter)
180
720.0
129.6
10.11
Heater (Auto Engine, Winter)
1000
180.0
180.0
14.04
Heater (Portable)
1500
40.0
60.0
4.68
Heating System (Warm Air Fan)
312
288.0
89.9
7.01
Humidifier (Winter)
177
230.0
40.7
3.17
Iron
1000
5.0
5.0
.39
Jacuzzi (Maintain Temperature, 2 Person)
1500
93.0
139.5
10.88
Lighting (Incandescent)
75
100.0
7.5
.59
Lighting (Fluorescent)
40
100.0
4.0
.31
Lighting (Compact Fluorescent)
18
100.0
1.8
.14
Lighting (Outdoor Floor)
120
90.0
10.8
.84
Microwave Oven
1500
11.0
16.5
1.29
Mixer, Hand
100
10.0
1.0
.08
Motor (1 HP)
1000
20.0
20.0
1.56
Power Tools (Circular Saw)
1800
1.0
1.8
.14
Radio
71
101.0
7.2
.56
Range (Oven)
2660
8.0
21.3
1.66
Range (Self Cleaning Cycle)
2500
3.0
7.5
.59
Refrigerator/Freezer (Frostfree,17.5cu.ft.)
450
333.0
149.9
11.69
Satellite Dish (Includes Receiver)
360
183.0
65.9
5.14
Sump Pump (1/2 HP)
500
20.0
10.0
.78
Television (Color, Solid State)
200
183.0
36.6
2.85
Toaster
1400
3.0
4.2
.33
Vacuum Cleaner
1560
6.0
9.4
.73
VCR/DVD
21
12.0
2.5
.02
Waffle Iron
1200
4.0
4.8
.37
Washer
512
17.0
8.7
.68
Waterbed Heater (Queen Size)
375
256.0
96.0
7.49
Water Heater (Quick Recovery)
4500
89.0
400.5
31.24
Water Pump (1/2 HP)
460
41.0
18.9
1.47
 
These figures are based on average use by a family of four at an electric rate of 7.8¢ per kilowatt hour.