How to Calculate an Electricity Bill

Written by nicki howell
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According to the U.S. Department of Energy, American households can expect to pay anywhere from 0 to 0 per kilowatt-hour for electricity. This can translate to hundreds of dollars each month depending on your household usage. Many people are interested in learning how to calculate their electricity bill, and, ultimately, trim the fat from their bill. Learning important pointers on determining the cost per kilowatt-hour and off-peak rates will help you understand and control electricity costs.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Current energy bill
  • Online electricity calculator

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  1. 1

    Check out local costs per kilowatt-hour. For example, a company may charge 0 per kilowatt hour for the first 500 hours, and 0 per hour after. If you review your bill, this information should be included on the front page. Or, you can contact your utility company directly for pricing information.

  2. 2

    Make a list of items that are notorious for using high amounts of electricity. For example, an electric oven, water heater, dish washer, air-conditioning unit and furnace typically consume the most energy.

  3. 3

    Once you've made a list of the big energy users in your home, use a free online electricity calculator to estimate your costs (see Resources). This will give you the number of kilowatt-hours used, cost per month and cost per year.

  4. 4

    Ask your utility company whether rates are higher during peak hours. Some utility companies charge higher rates after 6 p.m.

  5. 5

    Compare the accuracy of your estimate to your electricity bill. Once you've calculated the average cost of your electricity bill, review the accuracy of your estimate for a few months. You can also reduce energy consumption on high-consumption items, such as air-conditioning units and heaters, and evaluate the impact monthly.

Tips and warnings

  • Check out energy-saving appliances. Installing these items will help drive down your monthly costs, and may have tax benefits.
  • Don't forget to turn off your computer at night. Little items, such as computers and cell phone chargers, can silently suck money out of your pocket. Turning off these items when you aren't using them will shave money off your electricity bill.

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