How Much It Really Costs: What's Your Power Bill?

How Much It Really Costs: What's Your Power Bill?

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Jason Yang
Apr 7, 2011

Switching an electronic device "off" nowadays rarely changes the amount of electricity used. Consider your DVR, which is still operating and recording shows while you're not actually watching TV. How many of us keep our computer on 24x7 without shutting it down or putting it into sleep mode? We're guilty here. There's also constant charging of our phones, cameras, and gear. Think of all the appliances in your place too - the fridge is always kicking in, running the dishwasher constantly, and there's always endless loads and loads of laundry. When it comes to the power bill impacting our wallets, how much does it actually cost us to use all of our tech gadgets, gear, and appliances?

We came across a nifty calculator that lets you figure out how much each gadget or appliance costs you annually. It allows you to adjust your electricity cost which can be quite varied depending on where you live. The site design is from the 90's and you'll get a laugh at Mr. Electricity's Kenny G hair, but the tool is fun to use.

Roughly adding up all of the devices and usage in our own home with approximately a $.15 per kWH, here's a breakdown of our energy costs each month:

  • $20: Computer + LCD
  • $5: TV and electronics
  • $8: Refrigerator
  • $15: Washing machine
  • $10: Dryer
  • $20: AC unit (we use AC moderately in a small space)
  • $6: Dishwasher
  • $12: Lights

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's Residential Energy Consumption Survey reveals we're using a lot of energy, even with all the energy efficiency technology, so it's good to know how much you're using.

Of course this is a hugely rough estimate as usage, rates, and actually power draw varies quite a bit, but it comes pretty darn close to my $50 to $100 per month electricity bill. In any case, It's fun to play around with to see how much electricity you're using with all your electronics in the house!

Additionally, Unplggd has several fun and money-saving reads on the topic of power usage and how to save on electricity costs:

(Images: Flickr member delphaber licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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