What is a Kilowatt-Hour?

Your home’s electricity usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). One kilowatt-hour (1 kWh) equals the amount of energy you would use if you kept a single 1,000 watt appliance running for an hour.

  • So if you switched on a 100 watt light bulb, it would take 10 hours to rack up 1 kWh of energy.
  • Or a 2,000 watt appliance would use 1 kWh in just half an hour
  • While a 50 watt item could stay on for 20 hours before it used 1 kWh

One kilowatt-hour of electricity is enough to:

  • Watch television for 10 hours
  • Vacuum for one hour
  • Wash 12 pounds of laundry
  • Work on computer for 5-10

Below is a chart of common household items and an approximation of kWh usage and cost based on a $0.10 kwh supply rate. It does not include delivery & service charges that your local utility will charge

Appliance/Equipment

Avg. Usage

Monthly kWh

Cost/Month
(based on $0.10 per kWh rate)

Comfort & Health

 

 

 

Air Conditioner – Window 12,000 BTU (1,400 Watts)

8 hours/day

341

$34.10

Electric Blanket (177 Watts)

8 hours/night

43

$4.30

Dehumidifier (257 Watts)

12 hours/day

94

$9.40

Fan – Window (200 Watts)

2 hours/day

12

$1.20

Fan – Ceiling (125 Watts)

12 hours/day

46

$4.60

Heat Pump (High Efficiency) (1,800 Sq. ft. house) 8.5 HSPF*

daily

Average Annual Cost

$762.30

Humidifier (177 Watts)

8 hours/day

43

$4.30

Water Heater (4500 W)

3 hours/day

411

$41.10

Hair Dryer (1,000 W)

15 min./day

7.6

$0.76

*Heating Season Performance Factor (an efficiency rating)

**Based on 4,296 Heating Degree Days. Cooling costs would be approximately 40% of total energy costs.

Food Prep. & Preservation

 

 

Blender/Food Processor (400 Watts)

1 hour/week

2

$0.20

Coffee Maker (894 Watts)

one hour/day

27

$2.70

Dishwasher (1,200 Watts) (excludes hot water costs)

one hour/day

37

$3.70

Microwave Oven (1,450 W)

30 min./day

22

$2.20

Range (12,200 Watts)

30 min./day

186

$18.60

Refrigerator – 14 Cu. Ft. (440 W.)

12 hrs/day

161

$16.10

Laundry

 

 

 

Clothes Dryer (4,900 W)

6 loads/week

90

$9.00

Washer (512 Watts)(Excludes water costs)

6 loads/week

9

$0.90

Iron (1,008 Watts)

2 hours/week

8

$0.80

Home Entertainment

 

 

42″ Plasma TV (320 Watts) (instant-on TVs use some electricity continuously)

35 hours/week

44.8

$4.48

Lighting

 

 

 

40-Watt Bulb (40 W)

4 hours/day

5

$0.50

Equivalent compact fluorescent

4 hours/day

1.375

$0.14

60-Watt Bulb (60 W)

4 hours/day

7

$0.70

Equivalent compact fluorescent

4 hours/day

1.625

$0.16

75-Watt Bulb (75 W)

4 hours/day

9

$0.90

Equivalent compact fluorescent

4 hours/day

2.5

$0.25

100-Watt Bulb (100 W)

4 hours/day

12

$1.20

Equivalent compact fluorescent

4 hours/day

3.25

$0.33

http://www.wrecc.com/what-uses-watts-in-your-home/

You can calculate how much kWh you would use with real appliances in your home by following this easy formula.

Remember this is just an approximation. Learn more about what other charges you see on your utility bill here.

Electricity Usage & Kilowatt- Hours

Electricity usage is tracked by your home’s electric meters. These are able to record the amount of electricity that flows in and out of your home. Your utility company reads your meter every month (or two) in order to determine your monthly usage. Meter readings are typically displayed on your bill as a longer string of numbers, but your monthly usage can be determined by subtracting last month’s reading from this month’s reading. Although most do the subtraction for you, resulting in the total kWh line item. 

The average household uses approximately 908 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity every month. Generally speaking, utilities charge their customers based on how much electricity they use. This means that if your usage goes up, so does your bill. The amount you owe is determined by multiplying your utility’s supply & delivery rate per kWh by the total kWh you used that month.   Usage and pricing can vary depending on many different factors, such as the number of residents in a home, the size of a home, and the efficiency of appliances.

Learn more about your utility bill here