When was the last time you looked at your power bill with a critical eye? Have you actually read it from beginning to end? You are not alone if your answer is Never.
However, as we all spend more time at home and perhaps begin to pay more attention to our energy usage, knowing how to read your energy bill can be really beneficial.
You can start making smarter decisions to lower your energy usage and save money on your energy bill after you grasp what your bill says.
An overall summary of your account information, bill summary, current charges, and electric pricing may appear on your electric bill, as well as a more detailed analysis of your energy consumption. This breakdown will usually include the following:
The date the meter was read, as well as your current and past meter readings, will be displayed on your meter information. The quantity of kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power you used during the billing period is the difference between your prior and current meter readings. If your prior meter reading was 22,000 kWh and your current reading is 22,700 kWh, you used 700 kWh during that time.
This section of your bill details all of the services involved in supplying energy to your home. Transmission charges, generation charges, customer charges, and distribution charges are common. The majority of your bill is made up of these charges.
The price per kWh for each type of charge will be different. These prices are calculated by multiplying your current kWh usage by the rate for each charge for example, if we had 700 kWh of usage, we would multiply it by the transmission charge rate.
This section is usually divided into two parts. The first will show you your total kWh usage in past months, while the second will show you your kWh usage for the current and previous months, as well as for the same month the previous year. This section will also give your daily average use and maybe daily temps.
Your usage profile provides a high-level overview of your energy usage habits. You’ll be able to monitor when you consume the most energy, allowing you to make adjustments to your energy usage patterns. This will save you money in the long term.
To truly comprehend your bill, you must first comprehend what a kWh is. The unit of measurement for power usage is the kilowatt-hour. It’s actually a combination of two measurements: speed and time. Wattage is a measurement of how quickly electricity is spent, whereas time is a measurement of how long that electricity is consumed at that rate.
Alternatively, multiply the wattage of any device by the number of hours you use it, then divide by 1,000 (one kilowatt equals 1,000 watts), and you’ll have the kWh measurement for that appliance. Take, for example, a Samsung 65-inch curved TV with a 72-watt output. Multiply 72 watts by five hours, then divide by 1,000 to find out how much energy the TV used over five hours of binge-watching your favorite show. You’d gain 0.36 kWh as a result. You can do this with almost any appliance because the wattage is usually stated on the unit.
In actual life, what does one kWh look like? Here are some examples of how one kWh can be used:
Your monthly energy expenditures are determined by where you live, the type of housing you live in, and the number of people you share your home with.
Your monthly payment for a one-bedroom apartment will likely be around $30-50 if you only use electricity and not heat. That is, however, without air conditioning. The expense of running air conditioning is around $250-300 per year. However, because you usually don’t use your air conditioning all year, the cost isn’t stretched out over a year. You’ll likely pay an extra $50-80 per month on your electric bill during the months when you do use your air conditioner. It might be closer to $80-90 per month if you live somewhere with longer, warmer seasons.
The average home uses 897 kWh of energy each month, according to the Energy Information Administration. The average household monthly power cost was $117.65 in 2018 (the most recent year for which data is available). However, electricity rates vary greatly depending on where you live; the average Hawaiian household spends $203 per month on electricity.
What is the average amount of electricity used by a small business?
Heating and cooling in commercial buildings consumes an average of 5 kWh/square foot 7 kWh/square foot if ventilation is included while the exact quantity depends on the size of your business and the climate in your location.
Calculate your company’s overall spending throughout the same time period. You may get a wide picture of your expenses, including labor, rent, equipment, supplies, insurance, and everything else. Alternatively, depending on the categories you wish to compare to utility prices, you can sum a specific category of expenses, such as all non-labor costs.
To calculate the decimal part of utility expenses, divide total utility costs by total business costs. If your annual utility costs are $25,000 and your overall business expenses are $400,000, the percentage of your total costs that your utility charges represent is $25,000 divided by $400,000, or 0.0625.
To calculate the percentage, multiply the decimal value by 100, which you can easily do by moving the decimal point two places to the right. A decimal value of 0.0625 multiplied by 100 is 6.25 percent, for example. This is the amount of money spent on utilities as a percentage of total business costs.
Collect utility bills for a specific time period. If your utility expenses fluctuate seasonally, you should investigate them for at least a year. Include costs for expenses such as electricity, gas, water, heating oil, phone, and Internet access, which are all considered utilities. Other services, such as trash removal, may be offered by some firms.
What is the most expensive item on your electric bill?
This one is very straightforward: older appliances are inefficient compared to newer appliances, which has a direct impact on your energy expenditure. Appliances with the ENERGY STAR label consume 10 to 50 percent less energy than those without the label.
ENERGY STAR appliances have been independently certified to save energy, money, and the environment. For example, replacing a ten-year-old refrigerator with a newer, more energy-efficient model can save $144 in energy bills over five years (based on national average electricity rates).
When it’s time to replace your old dishwasher or refrigerator, start with ENERGY STAR’s guide to energy-efficient equipment.
#5. Irregular or inefficient thermostat use
Your electric bill can be affected by how you use your thermostat, in addition to how well insulated your home is. The majority of us set our thermostats according to how hot or cold we want to be. Isn’t it chilly outside today? Increase the temperature on the thermostat!
However, that is an ineffective method of controlling your home’s temperature. Instead of altering the temperature solely on your preferences, consider what your home requires. Then, to assist you automate those needs, utilize a smart thermostat or a programmable thermostat. You can, for example, arrange your heat to turn down during the day when no one is home or at night when you are sleeping.
Even if you’re at home, see if you can get away with raising the temperature in the summer or reducing it in the winter. You can save roughly 6% on your energy cost for every degree you turn your thermostat back. So, instead of turning up the thermostat, put on an additional sweater the next time you’re cold!
#6. Peak-time energy use
You may pay more for power during peak energy use periods, just as you may spend more for travel during the holidays. Demand-driven energy prices fluctuate throughout the day. Because so many Americans work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the majority of our at-home energy use occurs early in the morning or late at night. Because of the increased demand, this is also when energy rates are at their greatest.
Knowing this, you can plan to use fewer appliances during these peak periods. To take advantage of the lower prices, conduct some of your normal evening chores during the middle of the day or later at night. For example, set your dishwasher to run on a timer overnight. Your electric bill will appreciate it.
It’s easy to believe that you consume around the same amount of energy each month if you aren’t measuring your energy usage (and, let’s be honest, who is?). However, this may not be the case.
#7. Your social life (really)
There are times of year when you can find yourself throwing a few parties, whether it’s during the summer or during the festive holiday season. When you have a party, what happens? You cook a little more, turn on lights in rooms where you don’t ordinarily spend time, and stay up a little later than usual, leaving the lights on a little longer.
If you have a lot of visitors, your electric cost will most likely reflect that. While this isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm or something you’d like to change, it does help you understand why your cost has gone up.
#8. Changes in your energy use
Consider when you might need more electricity during the year: During the summer, you may need to use your air conditioner more frequently. Furthermore, the holiday lights consume enough electricity to power 14 million refrigerators.
Changes in your electricity usage could be due to a variety of factors. Have you lately purchased a new appliance or technological item for your home? Adding a space heater, for example, can result in significant rises in your energy bill. Let’s imagine you have a 1,500-watt electric space heater and the current kilowatt-hour charge is 10.5 cents (you can check your energy bill for the exact rate). It costs $1.26 every day to run that space heater for eight hours overnight.
Consider how your electricity usage has increased if your energy bill has increased. Then you can take steps to reduce your energy consumption, such as unplugging vampire sources (#1) and operating appliances during off-peak hours (#6).
How does the power company calculate and bill electricity?
A Watthour (Wh) is the amount of energy provided to or removed from an electric circuit over the course of one hour. Kilowatthours are the units of measurement for the amount of electricity generated by a power plant or consumed by an electric utility customer (kWh). One kWh is equal to one kilowatt hourly generated or used. For example, if you use a 40-Watt (0.04 kW) light bulb for five hours, you’ve used 200 Wh (0.2 kWh) of electricity.
Is commercial electricity less expensive than residential electricity?
If you run your business out of your house, it’s likely occurred to you at some point that some of your gas and electricity usage can be attributed to work.
Is business energy cheaper than domestic energy?
There is no competition when it comes to average unit rates firms pay a far lower price, and if all other purchasing criteria are equal, the larger the business, the lower the unit rate.
You will only pay 5% VAT on your energy if you have a home energy tariff, whereas corporations normally pay 20%.
Businesses must also pay the Climate Change Levy, generally known as the CCL. Currently, electricity costs 0.541p per kWh, while gas costs 0.188p per kWh.
When comparing the cost of business energy to the cost of household energy, both of these extra charges will invariably increase the cost of commercial energy, so don’t just take headline unit rates at face value.
However, there are various VAT and CCL exceptions that could make a difference:
- If you use less than 33 kWh of electricity and 145 kWh of gas per day, you don’t have to pay CCL and only have to pay 5% VAT. (That’s the equivalent of 12,045 kWh of electricity and 52,925 kWh of gas in a year – far more than the average household consumes.)
- If your firm has a residential component, such as a B&B, a campsite, or a care home, you don’t have to pay CCL and simply have to pay 5% VAT.
How many people work from home?
According to the ONS, 3.403,000 persons, or 11.7 percent of the national workforce, work from home. That’s a lot more than most people think, and it means that there are a lot of people who could profit from converting to commercial energy.
Should you choose a business energy tariff or a domestic energy tariff?
A business tariff may appear to be a no-brainer because prices are lower, but there are a few factors to consider.
To be allowed to convert to a business rate, you must utilize a considerable amount of the energy in your house for business activities.
Don’t be concerned if this appears to be a high bar. It’s very likely that if you work from home all day, with lights, heat, a computer, printer, and all the other standard office equipment, you’ll hit the 50% mark.
Take meter readings at the beginning and conclusion of each working day for a week and calculate the percentage of energy used while you’re working vs energy used while you’re not.
Remember to leave out items like your refrigerator, which would consume electricity throughout the day whether or not you were working from home.
You must be registered as a business or possess a business rates paperwork or other proof of existence, such as a website or a compliment slip. The energy provider will want to see something tangible to establish that you do, in fact, have a business and that it is run from your house.
You must be certain that it will be less expensive. To find the cheapest domestic tariff, use a domestic price comparison website. But don’t leap in right away.
Also, let us know what you’re up to so we can tailor the offers to your unique requirements.
While a new meter is not required to move to a business tariff, your existing meter will be given a new ‘profile.’ That profile will model your use differently from a household tariff, which is good news because it will presume you consume more energy during the day, when it is less expensive, rather than in the mornings and early nights, when domestic demand prices are higher.
The majority of business energy tariffs are fixed. This implies you’ll pay the same rate from the beginning to the end of your contract.
Domestic fixed-price tariffs are available, but they aren’t as fixed in terms of contract periods as business energy contracts are, and hence offer less price protection.
Contracts and pricing for business energy can be fixed for one month to five years!
On the one hand, this is comforting because it allows you to budget and protects you from price increases; on the other hand, if prices fall, the unit rate and standing charge you pay will remain unchanged.
You can pay a charge (typically 20100) to get out of a fixed price contract with a domestic energy tariff, but you can’t move while you’re still in a contract with a business energy tariff unless you pay the full value of the contract upfront, which isn’t an appealing proposition. However, this risk must be evaluated against the assurance of knowing your price will not change regardless of the underlying market’s trend.
Consumer Futures and the regulator Ofgem will not provide the same level of protection to business energy users as they do to household energy customers. While this is not surprising, given that a business owner is likely to be more commercially astute than a homeowner, it can lead to a fundamentally different client experience.
Regardless, if you run a business from home, you may well meet the criteria of a microbusiness; in fact, it’s highly likely that you do.
Micro enterprises are those that use less than 200,000 kWh of gas or 55,000 kWh of electricity per year, have fewer than 10 employees (or full-time equivalents), and have an annual turnover or balance sheet total of less than 2 million.
Businesses in this category are provided with domestic-style protections and are safe from some of the commercial issues that large energy buyers face.
Even if you decide to continue with your domestic tariff, working from home has advantages.
You can claim for the electricity and gas you use while working as a legal business cost whether you’re on a business or household energy tariff.
To do so, calculate your energy use based on the percentage of your home that your office/workspace takes up.
For instance, if you used a small room at home as an office, accounting for 5% of the overall floor area, and your electricity bill for heating and lighting was 300, you might claim 15, or 5% of the total.
You can also make a claim based on the amount of energy your company consumes.
For example, if you worked from your living room for half of the time and your family used it the other half, and it was 10% of the area of the house, you could claim 75 based on a total energy bill of 1500 10% of which is used in the living room and then halved again because you’re only using that room for work half of the time.
These samples are from HMRC and are only meant to be used as a guide. To be certain of your rights, investigate what you might be able to claim in your specific situation.
Which industry consumes the most electricity?
The Energy Consumption of Different Business Types
- Grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores are all examples of businesses. These three types of companies are among the most energy-intensive.
What are the different types of utilities that are used in a business?
The utilities industry encompasses businesses that provide essential services such as water, sewerage, electricity, dams, and natural gas.
How much does an average electricity bill in NSW cost?
Electricity Bills in NSW on Average We discovered that the average yearly electricity cost in New South Wales is $1,424. More than three-quarters of New South Wales residents (77%) pay their bills quarterly, whereas 17% pay monthly.