How is energy calculated?
Energy usage is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and you’re charged for every kWh you use (a kWh is sometimes known as a unit of energy). In addition to the cost of energy you’ll also be billed a ‘daily standing charge’. This is what your energy provider adds on for you to be connected to their supply.
All electrical items are rated for power in watts or kilowatts and the amount of electricity consumed depends on how long it’s on for. Usually the big appliances that are on for most of the time like your fridge or freezer don’t actually use up that much electricity – it’s the little ones or those that you use every now and again that eat into your electricity use.
If you really wanted to get into the nitty gritty of it all then think of it like this – a tumble dryer for example typically uses between 2,000 and 3,000 watts or 2-3 kW. If we take the lower end of this (2kWh) and say you ran the dryer for two hours and were charged around 16p per kWh you used; your tumble dryer would cost you 64p to run. That doesn’t sound like much but if you ran the tumble dryer two days each week for a year, that works out at more than £60 every year. Suddenly it’s quite easy to see how the bill adds up. Plus, don’t forget appliances like electric showers (around 7,000-10,000 watts), your oven that on average uses (2,000-2,200 watts) and even the humble kettle uses between (2,200 and 3,000 watts) every time you use it.