Calculate the watts each device uses per dayConvert watts to kilowatts. There are 1000 watts in one kilowatt.

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This article explains the electricity bill reduction in Ghana and how to calculate your energy consumption.

Electricity is free for 3 months for people who are in the GHC19.26 (0-50Kwh) block. But what about those who are in higher blocks, i.e, use more than 50kwh?

The government is saying that you’ll also get 50% off your electricity cost too. Here is an example to enhance your understanding. If you used GHS58 (150kwh) in March, the government is saying that it will take 50% off your electricity cost for April, May, June assuming (plus minus) you continue using the same block you used in March. That’s what they mean by saying March is the Benchmark month.

Another example, if your March bill was GHS60 (155kwh), but because of news of electricity reduction, you rather use Ghc500 (over 1200Kwh) worth of electricity this month (April) and GHS600 in May etc. Does it mean government will pay 50% of GHS500 (April), GHS600 (May) for you? No!

Government will use the amount of electricity you consumed (block) in March to know (or have a fair idea of) how much 50% of your consumption will cost the government purse.

Everyone will have different benchmark amounts based on their electricity consumption in March. Someone who used GHS300 worth of electricity in his home in March is likely to have government pay off GHS150 for him/her in April, May, and June assuming the consumption remains in the same block.

So back to my example of someone who used GHS60 worth of electricity in March, but used GHS500, GHS600 in April and May, government will conclude your new consumption in April is deliberate wastage. Government will therefore by this new directive pay GHS30 (50% of March) for you ( in addition to whatever metric they have) and you will pay the remaining GHS470 because it is your cost. The reason for this, I am inclined to believe, is to check electricity wastage. Lessons from the free water, perhaps.

The major cause for concern however is that those we are targeting to enjoy the free (50kwh and below block) are the people who mostly can’t afford their own meters to enjoy this free thing. They are a group of kiosks in slums or single-roomed compound houses each with 1 or 2 bulbs and a small TV with a common meter and who are exploited monthly by greedy landlords or meter owners who squeeze the bills from these “poorest of the poor”. That not withstanding, it is a thoughtful idea.

Second concern is that using consumption block in March as benchmark could be a little problematic because most people (apart from teachers) were not at home in that month to use power optimally to reflect lockdown usage. Even for teachers (and their students), they started staying home only from 16th March and lockdown for most Ghanaians took effect on Monday 30th March. So March consumption may not reflect real lockdown electricity block. I estimate people who use more than 50kwh could be worse off under the government’s arrangement although 50% is taken off if they don’t use power “wisely”.

Now, whereas someone used GHS60 electricity in March when he was not home between 8am and 5pm, his April, May and June electricity cost could each reach GHS100 or even GHS120 and this rise in power consumption will not be due to deliberate wastage as the Benchmark data may portray. But even this, I believe, can be addressed by the experts if they really want to make people feel comfort.

How can I tell how much electricity I use each day?

  1. Calculate the watts each device uses per day
  2. Convert watts to kilowatts. There are 1000 watts in one kilowatt.
  3. Determine the kilowatts an appliance uses per month.
  4. Figure out the cost. (Some multiplication required.)

To start you’ll need the device’s wattage and an estimated number of hours you use it per day. If you find that your bill is too high, it might be time to shop for a new energy plan.

With that said, let’s start calculating.

How can I find the wattage of a device?

Most devices have a label listing how many watts they use. You can find this wattage label either on the device (usually on the bottom or back) or in the owner’s manual.

If you can’t find the wattage label, there are a couple other options to determine how much power the device uses.

  • Purchase a wattage measuring device, such as the Kill A Watt®, which displays the wattage of a device when you plug it in.
  • Contact the manufacturer with your device’s model number.

We’ve also provided a list that shows the common wattage of everyday household devices. Though the wattage of your particular device may vary, it should give you a rough estimate.

How to calculate my energy consumption

The first step in calculating your energy consumption is to figure out how many watts each device uses per day. Just multiply your appliance’s wattage by the number of hours you use it in a day. This will give you the number of watt-hours consumed each day.

Calculate Watt-hours Per Day

Device Wattage (watts) x Hours Used Per Day = Watt-hours (Wh) per Day

Example: A 125-watt television used three hours per day
125 watts x 3 hours = 375 Wh/Day

However, electricity on your bill is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), not watt-hours. One kilowatt is equal to 1000 watts, so to calculate how many kWh a device uses, divide the watt-hours from the previous step by 1000.

Convert Watt-Hours to Kilowatts

Device Usage (Wh) / 1000 (Wh/kWh) = Device Usage in kWh

Example: A television using 375 Wh of electricity per day
375 / 100 = 0.375 kWh

Now that we know how many kilowatt-hours the appliance uses per day, we have to estimate that usage over a month. Let’s multiply by 30 days to simulate an average month.

Find Your Usage Over a Month

Daily Usage (kWh) x 30 (Days) = Approximate Monthly Usage (kWh/Month)

Example: A television using 0.375 kWh of electricity per day
0.375 kWh x 30 Days = 11.25 kWh/Month

So, a 125-watt television that you use for three hours per day adds up to 11.25 kilowatt-hours of energy per month. This is your television’s energy consumption. How does that translate to your electricity bill? Let’s move to the next step.

How to calculate my electricity bill

Now that you know approximately how much energy your appliances and devices consume over the course of a month, we can estimate what that part of your energy bill will cost.

For this step, you’ll need to look at your last electric bill to see how much you pay per kWh, otherwise known as your electric rate.

If you have a variable rate plan this can vary from month-to-month, so it becomes very difficult to estimate future electric bills. let’s continue our math.

The find out how much your appliances cost per month, multiply your electric rate by your monthly usage that we figured out in the steps above.

Figure Out the Cost

Monthly Usage (kWh) x Electric Rate ($/kWh) = Approximate Cost per Month

Example: A television using 11.25 kWh/Month with an electric rate of $0.10/kWh
11.25 kWh x $0.10 = $1.13/Month

Based on these calculations, this television would cost you $1.13 per month. While that might not seem like much, the appliances and devices throughout your home can really start to add up.

Remember, your appliances and devices only account for part of your energy bill. This does not take into account heating, cooling, and lighting. If your home has a meter that you can read, you can multiply the number of kWh for that month by your electric rate (like we did above) to get a more accurate bill estimate.

Another way to estimate your bill is to compile your bills from the past few months and find their average.

Overall, calculating your energy bill is a matter of knowing your usage and what price you pay for energy.

Source: Save On Energy

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