When searching for a reliable electricity cost calculator, you’ll see that it’s almost impossible to get just one option valid for all. Calculating cost of electricity varies, according to a series of factors. For example, an electric cost calculator in the United States will be significantly different than an electricity cost calculator UK version. In addition to this, a cost of electricity calculator also depends on the kind of electricity generated, its main source. In this regard, to calculate electricity cost for fossil fuels like oil or coal will have other averages than renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power. The average electric bill will also vary from home to home, according to:
- Home size
- Number of residents
- Average consumption
- Choice of appliances
- Use of appliances etc.
Nevertheless, there are a few equations and tips to help you learn how to calculate cost of electricity, how to calculate the cost of electricity consumption and how to calculate the cost of electricity per kWh. In our Electricity Cost Calculator guide, we’ll help you get familiar with the basics by:
- Identifying results from studies on how to calculate cost of electricity, depending on the energy source
- Providing an electrical cost calculator for heat
- Exploring an electricity calculator cost tool for electric motors
- Explaining how to calculate electricity cost watts for various appliances
- Presenting a calculator electricity cost tool for monthly estimates
- Summarizing the conclusions from an academic paper on how to calculate electric cost by estimating
Discover how you can calculate electrical cost with an electricity cost calculator watts tool like the ones showcased below and use your favorite electricity cost calculator to estimate personal consumption.
Studies on Calculating Electricity Cost in the United States
Thankfully, we have quite a few studies available on electricity cost calculator estimates for the United States. As we previously mentioned, the estimates vary from location to location, so if you live anywhere else in the world, it is best to do individual research on the cost of energy in your country.
As for the U.S., quite a few recent studies have been carried out by institutions like the Energy Information Administration, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) OpenEI, the California Energy Commission or Lazard. The main aim of these studies was to compare multiple energy sources and obtain LCOE minimums, maximums and averages.
If you’re not familiar with the acronym, you should know that LCOE is internationally regarded as the Levelized Cost of Electricity. To put it shortly, this measure presents a couple of ways in which electricity can be generated and what costs are involved in the process.
Due to the fact that these studies are quite extensive, we will present data from just one of them as an example. Afterwards, we will provide external links so you can read each of them.
We’ll expand on the Annual Energy Outlook published by EIA (Energy Information Administration) in 2015. As you can see above, the data refers to the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) projected for the United States by 2020. In the chart, we can see the estimated dollars per megawatt-hour for the following energy sources:
- Solar thermal
- Wind offshore
- Natural gas: conventional combustion turbine
- Solar PV
- Integrated Coal-Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)
- Advanced nuclear
- Conventional coal
- Wind onshore
- Natural gas: advanced combined cycle
You can see the full AEO2015 report on the EIA official website here. For the past six years, EIA has been releasing energy outlooks on a yearly basis to see estimates for energy plants that are expected to begin functioning in the year mentioned (in our case, 2020).
- Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis – Version 9.0
- NREL OpenEI Transparent Cost Database
- California Energy Commission Final Staff Report
How to Calculate Electricity Cost
An electricity cost calculator also depends on what kind of electricity you want to calculate, naturally. We have provided electricity cost calculators for three popular situations below.
Electric Heat Cost Calculator
The majority of United States residents are interested in an electric heating cost calculator the most. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy provides a trustworthy gas and electric heater cost calculator.
As you can see in the image above, you have an input section and an output section, each with a few fields you need to fill out. If you just want a general idea about costs, use the default data in the column farthest to your right.
Independent publishing company Building Green also offers an electricity fuel calculator for heating fuel costs. Choose between fuel oil, electricity, natural gas, propane, firewood, pellets, etc. and you will get default data for the rest.
Electric Motor Cost Calculator
The 17th issue of Smart Energy User, published by the P.E.I. Department of Economic Development and Tourism in October 1996, you can find complete instructions on how to calculate the costs of running a motor. The full process contains six steps, but there are multiple calculations you need to go through just to get a rough estimate. The writers also offer an example to help you with the calculations.
Appliance Electricity Cost Calculator
One of the most complex electricity cost calculator tools is for estimating appliances. Nowadays, there are so many appliances available on the market (with new models being released each day) that it’s difficult to keep up the page. However, Energy.gov also has an electricity cost calculator for estimating appliance and home electronic energy use. Take a look at the picture below for a general idea about what information you need for this electricity cost calculator.
Fortunately, you have a long list of appliances to choose from. All you have to do is select the appliance you’re interested in, insert the wattage, the utility rate (the United States average is about $0.12/kWh), how many hours you use it per day and how many days per year. Your results will appear in the gray box at the end.
Monthly Electricity Cost Calculator
The electricity cost calculator provided by RapidTables will help you get a general idea about how your electricity bill could look like, depending on the appliance you use. The tool is also open for several other countries, but it is mainly destined for United States residents.
Selecting a typical appliance will generate average power consumption (in watts), so you don’t have to search for this data individually. You’ll also have the cost of 1 KWh automatically inserted in the electricity cost calculator. All you have to do is enter the hours of use per day and you’ll get electricity cost estimates per day, month and year.
Calculate Electricity Cost by Estimating
A paper published by professors Gael D. Ulrich and Palligarnai T. Vasudevan from the University of New Hampshire in Chemical Engineering explains How to Estimate Utility Costs. The two authors explain that there are two major variables that affect utility prices:
- Energy cost
The professors proceed by describing all the factors involved in the process and offering methods to estimate costs. You also have an example on the third page for utility cost estimation.
We hope you found our Electricity Cost Calculator guide useful and that you will consider doing your best to lower consumption not only for your utility bills, but also for the environment.