### Ideas And Tips : Cost Estimator

## Cost Estimator

Electricity bills are based in part on the number of kilowatt-hours a member uses during a billing period. As a reference point; one kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the amount of electrical energy supplied by one kilowatt over a one-hour period. One kilowatt-hour (basic unit of measurement for electrical energy) is equivalent to:

- Running an energy-efficient refrigerator for half a day
- Providing 2.8 minutes of hot water for a shower
- Using a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours
- 1 Horse Power = 746 Watts

#### How can you calculate what it costs you to operate your appliances and other equipment?

**The calculation:**

- Determine the wattage of the appliance (it may be stamped on the back or bottom of the appliance).
- Divide the wattage by 1,000 to get the kilowatts used per hour.
- Multiply this by the number of hours the appliance is used during the month to get the kilowatt-hours.
- Multiply the kilowatt-hours by the RRO rate.

## Shopping for Energy-Efficient Appliances

**Two Price Tags**

Although energy-efficient appliances sometimes cost more initially, any extra cost can often be made up by the additional savings on your utility bill. One way to look at whether purchasing energy-efficient appliances makes sense for you is to think of the appliance as having two price tags. The first price tag is the price that you will pay to purchase the appliance. The second "price tag" is the cost to operate the appliance over its lifetime. When both are considered, what seemed like a good deal in the store may not necessarily have that significant an impact on your average electricity usage.

For example, a clothes dryer is one of the most expensive household appliances with a typical hourly consumption of 4,000 watts or 40 cents per hour ( at a cost of 10 cents per kWH). If you use your dryer 10 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, that amounts to 520 hours or $208.00 (@ 10cents kWH) annual cost. If a new energy efficient tag claims a 35% savings - that would equate to a savings of $72.80 per year or $728 over a 10-year life span.If you are replacing an applicance simply to reap a savings, it is important to understand exactly what that saving is.

**Consider the Total Cost**

An appliance's life-cycle cost is the most realistic measure of its true cost, because it takes into account the purchase price and the operating cost.

The following simple calculations can be used to estimate the actual long-term cost of these appliances:

- Cost of energy x kWh per year = Estimated Annual Energy Cost
- Purchase Price + (Avg. Lifespan x Est. Annual Energy Cost) = Total Life-Cycle Cost
- Total Life-Cycle Cost/ Avg. Lifespan = Annual Expense For Appliance

To help you calculate where your money is going we have provided you with a simple calculator to use.