Brown County REA aims to provide the best possible electric service to all within our service area at the lowest price consistent with the highest standard of customer service. At the same time we promote the wise and beneficial use of electricity, appliances and equipment in the home, farm or business.
The first step to better energy management is understanding how your home and habits affect your bill.
How to Estimate Energy Use & Cost
Since the cost of electricity is determined by the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) used during the billing cycle, the first step is to determine your average cost per kilowatt-hour.
Energy Charge Amount / kWh Used = Average kWh Cost
The wattage of an appliance (equipment) is found on the serial plate. It is possible that the electrical requirements will be expressed in volts and amps, rather than watts.
Volts X Amps = Wattage
Use the formula below to estimate usage and cost.
Example: A light bulb uses 100 watts and is left on for 15 hours. How many kWhs are used and what does it cost?
100 watts X 15 hours = 1500 / 1000 watts = 1.5 kWh
Cost of Application
1.5 kWh X average kWh cost = your cost
To find your daily cost of electricity add electricity charges up and divide by the number of days in the month.
Energy Consumption Factors Beyond Our Control
Season - Electric bills will typically jump in the summer due to air conditioner use. You may see similar increases in the winter if you heat with electricity. Electric bills tend to be lower in the spring and fall when temperatures are milder.
"Phantom" load - When you turn something off that doesn't necessarily mean it has stopped using electricity. Many electronics have a standby mode which draws an electric current even while turned off. Known as "phantom" loads, they can add up quickly. Unplug all electronics which display a clock or light when turned off, or use a smart power strip to limit phantom loads.
Vintage - Older appliances and electronic devices often draw more current than newer ones. While it can be difficult to invest in new appliances or electronic devices when you have reliable older models, the cost savings from reduced energy use can, in some cases, recoup the cost of an upgrade.
Visit energywisemn.com for more energy saving tips.