Energy Basics

Taking control of your energy use is probably easier than you realize.

That’s because you have almost complete control over which appliances and electrical devices in your home will operate and for how long. It sounds simple, but of course there are some things you can’t just turn off and leave off. There has to be a balance between comfort, convenience, and cost. And where that balance lies is completely different with each family in each home.

In an effort to help you determine how to keep your electric bills lower while maintaining a reasonable level of comfort and convenience, Edisto Electric Cooperative has produced this online booklet which contains articles, suggestions and methods for reducing your usage of electricity.

The job of a comprehensive energy use study is enormous, but with this guide, homeowners can take a look at the major energy use factors in their homes and have a good starting point for reining in those high bills. If, after you’ve gone through this online booklet, you would like additional assistance in this area, Edisto Electric has trained personnel ready to help you.

To have a basic understanding of energy use in your home and how to curb it, it is essential to have a basic understanding of the kilowatt-hour.

An appliance’s wattage, put simply, is the amount of power it consumes per hour of use. That unit is important because it is used in determining the kilowatt-hour usage of your home, and therefore, your bill.

To figure out how much energy a particular appliance in your home uses, simply find the wattage of that appliance (it should be listed somewhere on the appliance). If the wattage is not shown, it can be calculated by finding the amperage and voltage ratings on the appliance and multiplying the two numbers (Amps x Volts = Watts).

Once you have the wattage, multiply it by the number of hours per day the appliance operates, and divide that number by 1000. You have just determined how many kilowatt-hours per day the appliance uses. An approximate monthly usage can be determined by multiplying that number by 30 days. You may then multiply the monthly kWh usage by the appropriate rate you pay to determine how much that appliance costs per month to operate. Later in the book, a worksheet is provided which will allow you to figure an approximate usage for your entire home.

Wattage x Hours of Use = kilowatt-hours

Need help? Call us at 1-800-433-3292 or email