We all have received a high energy bill at some point. Now’s a good time to learn how to calculate your kWh rate, so that you can start saving.
Your electric meter reads your electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The kilowatt-hour rate is the amount you pay for power.
These numbers are important to know because they can tell you how power efficient you are and whether your electricity provider in Texas offers rates that are higher, lower, or the same as other providers.
Calculating Kilowatt Hour Rate
The kilowatt-hour rate is the price of power supplied by your electric provider. To calculate your kilowatt-hour rate, divide your total power bill, minus any taxes, by your total power consumption.
Once you have that number, you can use the following formula to calculate how much you pay for power.
For example, if your total monthly power bill is $327, your electricity taxes are $27, and your monthly power consumption is 2,500 kWh, your power cost is $0.12 per kWh.
A watt (W) is a measure of power. To translate watts into more familiar terms, the power consumption of light bulbs is rated in watts. A 60 W incandescent light bulb consumes seven and a half times more power than an 8 W LED light bulb to produce light of equal brightness.
You will often see power consumption expressed in kilowatts. (kW) because watts are relatively small units of power. One kilowatt equals 1,000 watts.
The manufacturer calculates the power rating for each of your major appliances and electronics and prints that power rating on a label on the device. For example, your microwave probably has a power rating between 600 W and 800 W.
A kilowatt-hour (kWh) expresses the amount of power consumed over a fixed period. The “kilowatt-hours” you see on your power bill expresses the amount of power that you consumed in a month.
To calculate the kWh for a specific appliance, multiply the power rating (watts) of the appliance by the amount of time (hrs) you use the appliance and divide by 1000.
Example: Calculating Your Electricity Costs
|Step 1: Find the lightbulb’s kilowattage||60 watts / 1000 = .06 kilowatts|
|Step 2: Determine your hours of use per month||90 hours of use * .06 kw = 5.4 kWh|
|Step 3: Find your electricity rate||$0.09 * 5.4kWh = $0.486|
This 60-watt lightbulb that we used for 90 hours in a month when we were charged $0.09/kWh cost us approximately 50 cents for the month.
To calculate your home’s or business’s power consumption, add up the power consumption for each device.
Other Ways to Find kWh
There are other ways to find your power consumption:
- Building meter: You can read the electric meter of your home or business at the beginning and end of the month and calculate the difference.
- Inline power meter: You can buy an inline power meter then measures the power consumption of the devices plugged into it. These meters are useful to find the trickle power consumption of devices that use electricity even when turned off.
- Power bill: Your power bill will include a measure of your monthly power consumption.
Discuss Your kWh Rate with Your Electricity Company in Corpus Christi
Learning how to calculate your kWh rate can be rather confusing for some. That’s why we’ve put together a simple-to-use energy rate calculator on our website.