What is a Kilowatt Hour?

Electricity v solar cost

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, average retail electricity prices in the U.S. rose steadily over the decade before 2009, growing from 6.64 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 1999 to 9.82 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009 — never once declining from year to year. A typical electric bill in San Diego might run between 13 and 29 cents per kilowatt-hour today. With the local utility’s tier energy system. The more you use the more you pay! Using the data above, we can easily predict the cost of a kWh will continue to go up — not down. So what exactly are we paying for?

How Much Electricity Do Your Appliances Use?

In order to understand how much electricity costs, we have to know how it’s measured. When you pull up at the gas tank, you are charged by the gallon. When you buy electricity, your electric company charges you by the kilowatt-hour. It can be broken down to the fact that when you use 1000 watts of electricity for 1 hour, that’s a kilowatt-hour or kWh.

For example:

Medium window AC Unit: Wattage: 1000 watts, Hours Used: 1 = 1 kWH

42” Ceiling Fan: Wattage: 24; Hours Used: 10 = 0.24 kWh

Light Bulb: Wattage: 100; Hours Used: 730 = 73 kWh

If you’d like to figure out what some of the devices are costing you around the house, here’s the formula to figure the cost of running them.

Wattage x Hours Used ÷ 1000 x Price per kWh = Cost of Electricity

An example would be — let’s say you leave a 50-watt bulb running approx 10 hours per day (300 hours a month), and you’re paying 0.15 cents per kWh. Your monthly cost to run the bulb is 50 x 300 ÷ 1000 x $0.15 = $2.25.

If your device doesn’t list wattage, but lists amps, then just multiply the amps times the voltage to get the watts. For example: 2.5 amps x 120 volts = 300 watts

The important message here is that the cost of a kWh or kilowatt-hour is going to continue to go up and up and up. One way to minimize the effect of these inevitable increases is to go solar and create your own clean energy!

Go Green – Save Some Green

Call us at (877) 543-8765 to speak with one of our Solar Energy Consultants! They’ll provide you with a free solar quote for a system that’s custom designed to meet your energy needs for the next 25+ years. Our process starts by asking you some questions about how you use energy, if you have plans of adding any electrical loads in the future (like an electric car or a swimming pool) and if you’re being more conservative than you’d like to be with your energy use. That way we can design a system that’s the right size for your family’s unique needs.

Not only does going solar save you some green off of your electric bill, it’s also better for the environment than traditional power sources. Solar panels produce electricity without emitting harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If you’ve been looking for ways to do your part and lessen your carbon footprint, then consider going solar. Your wallet will thank you and the planet will too.