How much will it cost to run a new electrical item? This is a common concern as electricity prices have soured in recent years. Parents may be more justified than ever in their nagging of the kids who in turn leave on every light, radio, TV and other electrical devise in the house.
This article will provide a guide to the calculation which might be used for accuracy or estimation for different electrical appliances.
How Much Does Electricity Cost ?
In the UK the current cost of electricity is typically between 8p and 15p per unit but prices can vary greatly. A unit is a kilowatt hour, which is the same as running a 1,000 watts appliance for an hour.
The average or typical cost can be found by checking the energy comparison websites, whereas the actual cost can be found from the electricity supplier or the bill at a specific property address. The cost of electricity varies greatly, with most homes having at least 2 tariffs. In the UK electricity tariffs generally reward high usage with a lower unit rate.
How To Work Out the Cost of Running Electrical Items
The formula to find the maximum cost of running an appliance for 1 hour is as follows:
- input in watts multiplied by price and divided by 1,000
Appliances will often have a label stating the watts, alternatively watts can be calculated by multiplying the amps by volts. In the US voltage is 120 in Europe it is 230-240.
Watts can also be calculated from value in British Thermal Units (BTUs), divide the BTUs by 3.412 to convert in to watts.
How Much Does it Cost To Run a Light Bulb?
100 watt standard light bulb used for 1 hour when the unit price is 0.15 per hour:
- 100w x 0.15 /1,000 = 0.015 or 1 ½ pence or cents per hour.
A low energy bulb of 8 watts left on 24 hours per day would cost:
- 24hours x 8w x 0.15 /1,000 = 0.029 or just under 3 pence for the whole 24 hour day.
How Much Electricity Does a Fan Use?
A standard room electric fan might be a 40 watt appliance but 40 watts is required for its maximum setting. It might have several lower, slower settings, less watts and cheaper to run. We know from the light bulb examples that even on top speed the fan will be very cheap to run.
How Much Does it Cost to Run a Mobile Air Conditioning Unit?
In contrast air conditioning and electric heaters are notoriously expensive. If a 2 kilowatt appliance (6,800 BTUs) such as a heater or mobile air con unit was running constantly at its maximum setting for 12 hours per day the calculation would be:
- 12 hours x 2,000w x 0.15 /1,000 = $3.60 per 12 hours.
This is not the full story, however, because modern air con units and heaters normally have thermostatic controls, to cut out or reduce output when a desired temperature is reached. So such an electric appliance will only run continuously or full power if it was too small for the space and conditions.
Are Electric Heaters Expensive to Run?
To run a 2 kilowatt, 6,800 BTU, electric heater it will cost twice as much as the unit rate for electricity, if it is on full power continuously for one hour. In many British homes at current electricity prices this will be between 16p and 30p per hour. If on for many hours the room should reach temperature and the heater will turn off until the room has cooled again.
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