Understanding Energy Consumption

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While it is not obligatory, understanding energy consumption has proven invaluable for home and business owners. Familiarizing yourself with how much energy you use is crucial in understanding your utility bill.  Rates tend to fluctuate depending on the amount of energy you use; for instance, if there is a 14.0 plan at 1,000 kwh, you will more than likely see an increase in your rate at 500 kwh.

If you are based in Texas, and you your goal is to lower your energy costs it is important to  We can help compare Oncor utility rates, calculate the distribution charges, and find the best energy plan that suits your needs and budget.

Our industry experience facilitates a more in-depth discussion on energy consumption basics,kWH, how it is measured, and what appliances use the most energy.

What is kWH and How Is My Energy Usage Measured?

When your gas or electricity bills appear, the first thing you look at is the total cost. The next glance should be at the number of kilowatt-hours or kWh.

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit for measuring energy. It corresponds to the quantity of energy you would use if a 1,000-watt electronic device runs for 60 minutes.

So, if you use a 50-watt device, it requires 20 hours to obtain 1 kWh. A bigger appliance, a 2,000-watt item, would consume 1 kWh in only 30 minutes.

It isn’t easy to accurately measure how much energy each appliance uses because of the wattage variances across the types of appliances and brands.

kW vs. kWh – What is the difference?

kW is a measurement unit for 1 kilowatt (1kW = 1,000 watts). It is an international unit that measures power, while a kilowatt-hour is a unit that measures a rate of energy consumption.

The energy providers charge by how much energy you use per kilowatt-hour, which translates to the number of kilowatts you use in one month.The charge corresponds to your monthly consumption (per hour), which is why it is quoted in kWh.

What Appliances Use The Most Energy and What Are Energy Vampires?

When you pay your electricity, what is it that you are paying to use? You may also have wondered which appliances use the most energy.

Some studies indicate that nearly half of residential electricity consumption goes towards heating and cooling devices. TV and media equipment account for about 4% of the total electricity consumption.

Homes are packed with numerous appliances and electrical gadgets, so it is good to know which has the biggest impact on your monthly energy bill. Here’s a list to give you an idea:

  • Air Conditioning & Heating – The HVAC system uses the most energy,with 46% of the average U.S energy consumption. Reduce the HVAC workload by using ceiling fans, drawing curtains during hot summer days, replacing air filters, and cleaning and dusting more often.
  • Dishwasher – It is convenient, but using a dishwasher every day is not without costs. When using a dishwasher, aim for a full load, use it in “Eco” mode, and set the timer to power the machine during off-peak hours.
  • Electric oven – These behemoths cost double compared to gas ovens, but there are ways to cook more efficiently and lower the running costs. Choose the right-size pan to use less heat; once it is boiling, reduce to low a simmer; use ceramic or ovenproof glass dishes, and keep your oven spotlessly clean—dirt and grease reduce the unit’s efficiency.

What about energy vampires?

An energy vampire is a device that drains power even when it is turned off. These energy suckers can account for 20% of monthly energy consumption.

The two most common examples of energy vampires are wall warts and bricks.A brick is the black box found on cords with laptops or TVs, while a wall wart is a cell phone charger. If connected via the plug point, these energy vampires consume energy when not in use.

Other examples of energy vampires include DVD players, MP3 players, standby coffee makers, digital TV converters, satellite boxes, cellular devices, video game consoles, and devices with a standby clock or light.

Energy Efficiency Tips Made Simple

You can improve your energy efficiency if you become more aware of how much energy you consume and which of your appliances use the most energy.

  • Use your microwave instead of your stove or electric oven
  • Replace filters regularly
  • Use natural light when possible
  • Don’t leave your TV or other devices on indefinitely
  • Use dishwashers and clothes washers at night
  • Don’t leave your cell phone plugged in overnight
  • Line Dry your clothes
  • Invest in smart products

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