Changing Your Habits Can Lower Utility Bills
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
May 23, 2002

Last week I told you about the Metropolitan Partnership for Energy taking dead aim at energy inefficiency.  I told you I would share with you some of our findings about energy efficiency.  This week I would like to share with you some of the prices we pay for various electrical appliances. 

Some of the electrical appliances are used quite often and some are not.  Contrast a coffee maker costing 7.8 cents per hour versus a central air conditioning unit costing 27 to 37.8 cents per hour.  One is used for perhaps an hour or so and the latter is used intermittently through the day and night. 

Other electrical appliances are used in multiple numbers, at the same time.  An example of such is the use of electrical light bulbs which cost anywhere from .4 cents to .7 cents for each bulb per hour of operation.  When you add the daily, weekly and monthly use of light bulbs and an array of other appliances, you can produce a significant CPS bill.

You should also know about a joint effort by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to recommend energy efficient appliances kind of like the familiar "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval".  The program is called ENERGY STAR and it provides businesses and consumers with energy-efficient solutions that save money while protecting the environment for future generations.  Look for the ENERGY STAR label and you will know that you are saving electricity! 

In the meantime, consider the following information as you decide how you might save at least just a little and maybe a whole lot.

The Cost to Operate Your Appliances

Appliance Average Wattage Est. Cost Per Hour
Lighting (Incadescent)
Lightbulb 40 0.4¢
Lightbulb 60 0.5¢
Lightbulb 75 0.7¢
Washing Machine 512 3.3¢
Iron 1,100 7.2¢
Water Heater 4,475 29.1¢
Dryer 4,856 31.0¢
Home Entertainment
Video Game 40 0.3¢
VCR 65 0.4¢
19” Television 65 0.4¢
Stereo 109 0.7¢
25” Television 115 0.7¢
Home Computer w/ Monitor 150 1.0¢
Kitchen Appliances
Waste Disposal 445 2.9¢
Refridgerator/Freezer 720 4.5¢
Dish Washer 1,201 7.8¢
Coffee Maker 1,200 7.8¢
Microwave 1,450 9.4¢
Range w/ Oven 12,200 79.3¢
Air Conditioning
Room Units
9,000 BTU 750-1,059 4.9¢-6.9¢
12,000 BTU 1,348-1,600 8.8¢-10.4¢
Central Air Units
36,000 BTU 3,462-4,444 22.5¢-29.9¢
48,000 BTU 4,156-5,818 27.0¢-37.8¢
3 Ton Central Heat Pump 3,600-4,390 23.4¢-28.5¢
4 Ton Central Heat Pump 4,776-5,783 31.0¢-37.6¢
Portable Heater 1,322 8.6¢
Ceiling 100 0.7¢
Box 200 1.3¢
Other Appliances
Trash Compactor 400 2.6¢
Vacuum Cleaner 630 4.1¢

The information was compiled by a 1995 CPS cost projections study.  The cost projections were based on $0.065 per kilowatt-hour.   The Edison Electric Institute provided the average wattage per appliance.

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