What are kWh Calculators, and How Do They Work?
Whether you’re worried about inflation or economic issues, saving money is more important today than it’s been in a long time. As a result, people are starting to pay more attention to their energy usage, especially during the hot summer months of Texas. You want to stay comfortable in your home and run the air conditioner as needed, but not at the expense of going broke.
KWh calculators are one of the best ways to gauge your electricity usage to know how much you will spend on your power bill. Whether you want to calculate the usage of a single appliance or for your entire home, a kWh calculator will get the job done. If you’re wondering how to use a kWh calculator or how they work, you’ve come to the right place.
Understanding What a kWh is
Before you learn to use a kWh calculator, you should first understand what a kWh is. KWh stands for kilowatt-hour and is the measurement of how much electricity an appliance uses in a single hour. It’s also the measurement used to calculate your monthly electricity bill. Electricity rates, for example, are based on kWh, which refers to how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you use in a month.
What is a kWh Calculator?
A kWh calculator is a tool that energy companies and individuals use to measure electricity usage. When you use it on a personal level, you can calculate how much electricity each appliance uses in your home or the total usage of your home.
How Do You Use a kWh Calculator?
Most kWh calculators are pretty easy to use. Let’s use an example from a single appliance to get started.
- Enter the number of watts your appliance uses and the type of appliance it is.
- Select the type of energy your machine operates on, such as watts, kilowatts, etc.
- Select how long you use the appliance every day or month.
- Input the current electricity rate in your area.
- When you hit Enter or Calculate, the kWh calculator will tell you how much electricity your appliance uses and what it costs you per day, week, month, and year.
How to Calculate kWh on Your Own
If you want to understand how a kWh calculator does its job, the best way is to calculate the kWh for yourself. First and foremost, kilo means 1,000, and kilowatt stands for 1,000 watts. In other words, 1,000 watts is the same as 1 kilowatt, a more manageable way to calculate electricity usage. Here’s how you calculate the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity you use.
- Start by converting the number of watts that your appliance uses to kilowatts.
- Divide the wattage amount by 1,000 to get the kilowatts. For example, an air conditioner that uses 500 watts converts to .5 kilowatts.
- Next, multiply the kilowatts by how long you operated the appliance.
- Your .5 kW air conditioner was on for 6 hours today, which means it used 3 kWh of electricity.
- Multiply the kWh by the current electricity rate to determine how much your air conditioner will cost you monthly. In this scenario, let’s say your rate is .15 cents/kWh, which comes to $.45 per day and $13.50 per month.
- To calculate the total kWh you use per month, you can follow the same formula as above, but with your total wattage rather than that of a single appliance.
Are kWh Calculators Effective?
KWh calculators are effective to a certain extent. They’re great at giving you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to pay, but they lack certain abilities. One of them is that electricity plans have tiered rates that fluctuate according to how much electricity you use. For example, let’s say you have an electricity plan with a rate of 15 cents/kWh based on 2,000 kilowatts of use.
This means that if you use at least 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, you’ll pay .15 cents for each of those kWhs. However, that same plan will likely stipulate in the fine print that if you use between 1,000 and 2,000 kWh, the rate jumps up to 18 cents. Additionally, if you use less than 1,000 kWh, the rate will be even higher, closer to 20 cents. Companies do this to still make their money if you don’t use much electricity.
The reason that kWh calculators lack effectiveness is that they don’t figure for the tiered rates of your plan. They simply calculate according to the rate you enter and not the different rate levels in your plan.
Average kWh Usage in Texas
The average amount of kilowatt-hours used in Texas depends on the size of the home. The bigger the house, apartment, or condo, the more electricity they use. For example:
- Average kWh usage for a 500-square-foot home: 400 kWh.
- Average kWh usage for a 1,000 square foot home: 880 kWh.
- Average kWh usage for a 2,000 square foot home: 1,325 kWh.
- Average kWh usage for a 3,000 square foot home: 1,840 kWh.
- Average kWh usage for a 4,000 square foot home: 2.200 kWh.
Typically, energy usage goes up during the summer and winter months and down during the spring and fall months. If you think you’re overpaying on your power bill, contact us to switch plans today! We use your home size, personal usage information, and zip code to find the best electricity plan in your area.
Is a kWh Calculator the Best Way to Gauge My Energy Usage?
While kWh calculators are a good way to get a general idea of your energy usage, they certainly aren’t foolproof. There are simply too many variables involved with electricity for them to be completely accurate. However, they are a good way of finding out how much each of your appliances is costing you and how to cut back and save money.
Using EnerGenie's kWh Savings Calculator
Rather than using the traditional kWh calculator that shows how much you’re paying, EnerGenie uses a savings calculator to show how much money you can save with us. All you need to do is go to our savings calculator and enter your zip code, the month and amount of your last bill, how many kWh you used, and the month of the bill. From there, we’ll calculate your future savings within seconds. Contact us today to get started!
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