What you’ll need
- Recent utility bill
- Paper, pencil, and calculator
- The average cost per kilowatt hour in your state (you can find that here!)
What to do
Once you got your supplies, here’s the math:
- Find your total charges on your bill.
- Next find your total kilowatt hours.
- Divide your total charges by the kilowatt hours.
- That gives you the total cents you’re paying per hour.
For example: $135/875 kilowatt hours = 15 cents per hour
Over the summer, the national average was about 13 cents per hour. So it’s not terrible. Next, let’s look at the consumption. Here’s the math:
- Find your total kilowatt hours.
- Divide that by the number of people in your house.
- That gives you the average kilowatt hours per person.
For example: 875 kilowatt hours / 7 people in the home = 125 hours per person
Over the summer, the national average was 600 kilowatt hours for a family of 4. That’s 150 hours per person. We’re at 125 kilowatt hours per person, and within the average for cents per hour, so all in all, not bad.
Check out this video to see the math on a whiteboard!
What happens if you’re way over?
There are a few things you can do:
- Check out energy calculator for appliances. Some of your appliances might be bleeding electricity – and costing you a ton of money.
- Do a few quick home checks, like checking doors and windows for leaks and seal them, and buying LED light bulbs, because they use less energy and won’t run up your bill.
- Check out LIHEAP. You may be able to get up to $1000 paid toward your utility bills! It’s from a bill Congress passed to help cut down on those big bills. Applications vary by state (some are easier than others) and the money does run out. So check it and apply soon!