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 Author Topic: How to calculate your cost per kWh  (Read 27565 times)
AngelusWebDesign
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 July 13, 2011, 06:40:04 PM

I've heard people reporting ridiculously low electricity rates, which seem to contradict this website:

http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=electricity_factors_affecting_prices

No offense, but I'm more inclined to believe the website. I think some people just aren't used to having to figure out what they're paying for electricity.
My theory is that some people are leaving out the "distribution/transmission" charge, which is just as real as the "generation" charge.

Fortunately, it's not too hard to calculate:

You need to take your last electric bill, and write down THREE numbers:

A) How many kW/h you used that month -- always clearly shown on your bill
B) Your total bill -- how much you have to send in
C) Your "customer charge" or statement fee -- any "fixed" fees that are charged every month, regardless of your usage.

In my case, there is a \$15 statement fee that's charged every month, whether I use 10 kW/h or 5000.
So I subtract that.

Then divide what's left by A to get your rate per kWh.

(B - C) divided by A = your cost per kWh

Unless you're living next to the Hoover Dam, or on some kind of government-subsidized Indian Reservation, your cost should be somewhere between 6 and 25 cents per kWh.

Enjoy!
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noob_jul11
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 July 13, 2011, 08:33:23 PM

Per your formula, I just do B/A ... essentially what I have to pay and that includes whatever taxes, fees, transportation fees, whatever fees, etc; and I'm not getting the rates on www.eia.gov. You never get the rates from the website; it's bogus rates and it hasn't include what our beloved government's fee for using electricity. Earn income ... income tax; after income tax, you have to pay utilities taxes. Double and triple taxations, don't you know that? It's all about tax till you die.
AngelusWebDesign
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 July 13, 2011, 08:51:45 PM

Per your formula, I just do B/A ... essentially what I have to pay and that includes whatever taxes, fees, transportation fees, whatever fees, etc; and I'm not getting the rates on www.eia.gov. You never get the rates from the website; it's bogus rates and it hasn't include what our beloved government's fee for using electricity. Earn income ... income tax; after income tax, you have to pay utilities taxes. Double and triple taxations, don't you know that? It's all about tax till you die.

So you're saying your rates are higher? That's fine. I'm just saying they can't be lower.

For one thing, the website's data is 2 years old and I haven't heard about anything coming down in price in the last 2 years. Inflation only goes one direction -- up.
bcpokey
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 July 13, 2011, 10:09:14 PM

Per your formula, I just do B/A ... essentially what I have to pay and that includes whatever taxes, fees, transportation fees, whatever fees, etc; and I'm not getting the rates on www.eia.gov. You never get the rates from the website; it's bogus rates and it hasn't include what our beloved government's fee for using electricity. Earn income ... income tax; after income tax, you have to pay utilities taxes. Double and triple taxations, don't you know that? It's all about tax till you die.

So you're saying your rates are higher? That's fine. I'm just saying they can't be lower.

For one thing, the website's data is 2 years old and I haven't heard about anything coming down in price in the last 2 years. Inflation only goes one direction -- up.

"Up only goes one direction, up"

Thanks for the axiomatic statement. There is something known as deflation however, and that goes only one direction too, down.

Anyway... rates can be whatever people pay. It's so ridiculously obvious that people can pay less than what is on that chart that it is almost annoying to have to type it out. The data is a rate average. The pseudo-definition of average is taking various numbers and balancing them, requiring some be below the average if some are above. I will also mention something that is less obvious, some states use a tiered electrical pricing system. California for example is listed at a cost of 13.24 cents / kWh. This ignores the fact that the state was on a 5 tier system, that has been changed to a 3 tier system. Below X amount of kwh you pay Y cost, above X, you pay Z cost, and so on.

AngelusWebDesign
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 July 13, 2011, 10:16:31 PM

Yes, I know what deflation is.

It's something the US Dollar won't be experiencing anytime soon.

More like 12% annual inflation. Ergo, everything goes up in price.

I'd like to see a scan (go ahead, black out your acct number, address, name, etc.) of an electric bill showing a rate lower than 6 cents a kWh, and I'll eat my hat.
In the case of tiered pricing, the total kWh would have to cost .06 each or less.

In other words, it doesn't matter if the first 100 kWh are 5 cents each -- nobody uses that little. You have to average the whole thing.
Same for on peak/off peak hours. Who cares if off-peak hours are 5.5 cents if on-peak hours are 9.5 cents? The question is, what would a mining rig cost you 24/7. So you have to AVERAGE it all.

------------------
how many kWh you used

Matthew
bcpokey
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 July 13, 2011, 10:50:17 PM

Yes, I know what deflation is.

It's something the US Dollar won't be experiencing anytime soon.

More like 12% annual inflation. Ergo, everything goes up in price.

I'd like to see a scan (go ahead, black out your acct number, address, name, etc.) of an electric bill showing a rate lower than 6 cents a kWh, and I'll eat my hat.
In the case of tiered pricing, the total kWh would have to cost .06 each or less.

In other words, it doesn't matter if the first 100 kWh are 5 cents each -- nobody uses that little. You have to average the whole thing.
Same for on peak/off peak hours. Who cares if off-peak hours are 5.5 cents if on-peak hours are 9.5 cents? The question is, what would a mining rig cost you 24/7. So you have to AVERAGE it all.

------------------
how many kWh you used

Matthew

Why would it need to cost 6 cents or less? You didn't make a thread entitled "How to calculate if your cost is less than 6 cents per kWh", nor, if you are responding to me, did I state that my bill is 6 cents or less. Your thread is entitled "calculate the cost" and your statement was "it will never be lower than what is listed on this page". Your response to my response is 100% inappropriate.

If you are trying to clarify your original statement, then phrase it in that manner.

Otherwise all the points stand, power rates by state vary by locality, tiered pricing (that is NOT the same as off peak / on peak, which you brought up for no reason) for some states, commercial vs residential, and other factors certainly allow for people to pay more or less than a statewide average. Hence your assertion is fallacious. If you wish to refute someone claiming a specific power rate, speak to them specifically, a whole thread is not necessary.
AngelusWebDesign
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 July 13, 2011, 10:59:49 PM

I'm just trying to clear some of that fog, that's all.

No one pays less than 6 cents a kWh, at least not for their total bill. That's my assertion.
If anyone has actual electric bills handy (and a calculator) to prove me wrong, I'm ready to learn something today.

nebiki
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 July 13, 2011, 11:02:02 PM

so americans don't even know how to calculate their electricity costs?

Quote
Unless you're living next to the Hoover Dam, or on some kind of government-subsidized Indian Reservation, your cost should be somewhere between 6 and 25 cents per kWh.

not everyone living on this planet lives in america. in germany you pay 22 eurocents or \$0.31

raf
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 July 13, 2011, 11:04:50 PM

"Unless you're living next to the Hoover Dam"
if only this were true us las vegans still pay about 11.5c per kwh here and hoover dam
is less than 35 miles from here. you would think we would get much cheaper electricity
but unfortunately our utility services are greedy here

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bcpokey
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 July 13, 2011, 11:08:02 PM

I don't have a grudge against you, I have a grudge against smugness and arrogance masked behind lots of fluffy verbage. You claim to be intelligent, well, I'm intelligent enough to see what you are doing, and I don't like it. So I will call you out for it. If you want to assert that there is no power cost less than 6 cents per kilowatt hour in the United States, that's fine, I don't care enough to find out if that is true or not. The rest can be done without, especially when it leads you to making false grand generalizations which are inherently wrong, and cause you to later state were not what you really care about. Clear the fog indeed...

Please take your grudge against other people doing what they would like elsewhere.
AngelusWebDesign
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 July 13, 2011, 11:44:13 PM

Call me out for precisely what?
steelhouse
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 July 14, 2011, 08:39:03 AM

Texas in de-regulated areas \$0.05 per kw-Hr.
Also industrial users might get even lower.
JoelKatz
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 July 14, 2011, 09:05:26 AM

Your method will give an artificially low value and should not be used for mining cost calculations. What you want to know is not how much you're paying for every kWh you are using but how much each additional kWh will cost you. For example, I pay 23 cents per kWh, but each additional kWh will cost me 41 cents. That's a huge difference. (This is because I live in California which has a tiered rate structure. The first so many kWh are 12 cents each, the next so many are 14 cents, and so on up to 34 cents. Taxes/fees bring it up to 41 cents.)

You can find my rate summary here:
http://www.pge.com/tariffs/ResElecCurrent.xls

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AngelusWebDesign
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 July 14, 2011, 03:58:10 PM

Texas in de-regulated areas \$0.05 per kw-Hr.
Also industrial users might get even lower.

...and at least 1/3 of us live in factories, not residential homes

What is a de-regulated area? I've never heard of the concept.

I live in the country; you'd think that would be pretty de-regulated. We have an electric co-op, so you don't have the usual price-gouging for electricity. In fact, sometimes when they have extra money, they send a bit back to each "member owner" which is what I'm considered.

When I lived up north, the electric company was much more of a price-gouger -- NOT member owned, and we never saw any refunds. They just pocketed whatever they managed to profit.

I just know that we don't have a lot of fees, especially due to "regulation" -- it's just the cost of natural gas for generation, plus a transmission fee (everyone uses cables to get electricity to individual houses -- no one using Tesla technology as far as I'm aware).

Matthew
computerparts
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 July 14, 2011, 07:10:25 PM

The people with ridiculously low rates probably have an access charge or some other charges. For instance, I pay .002 per kwh BUT I have an access charge and I have a charge based on the quantity of usage as well.
grod
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 July 15, 2011, 04:26:10 PM

I'm just trying to clear some of that fog, that's all.

No one pays less than 6 cents a kWh, at least not for their total bill. That's my assertion.
If anyone has actual electric bills handy (and a calculator) to prove me wrong, I'm ready to learn something today.

Assertion refuted.  The fixed costs (distribution fee, fee collection fee, usury fee) would be there whether or not I mine, so they are irrelevant.  The additional cost of running a miner is .046c/kwhr, of which another 13.5% is fixed taxes.  Total cost, as reverse computed from monthly bill: .0522c/kwhr.

Plenty of people live in apartments or other shared housing where their power cost is fixed and part of their rent.  To them the marginal cost of running a miner is exactly \$0/kwhr.

So there's two examples.

AngelusWebDesign
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 July 15, 2011, 06:16:41 PM

I'm just trying to clear some of that fog, that's all.

No one pays less than 6 cents a kWh, at least not for their total bill. That's my assertion.
If anyone has actual electric bills handy (and a calculator) to prove me wrong, I'm ready to learn something today.

Assertion refuted.  The fixed costs (distribution fee, fee collection fee, usury fee) would be there whether or not I mine, so they are irrelevant.  The additional cost of running a miner is .046c/kwhr, of which another 13.5% is fixed taxes.  Total cost, as reverse computed from monthly bill: .0522c/kwhr.

Plenty of people live in apartments or other shared housing where their power cost is fixed and part of their rent.  To them the marginal cost of running a miner is exactly \$0/kwhr.

So there's two examples.

Actually, I mentioned "subsidized" -- that would include living at home, a dorm, apartment with free electricity, etc. Those people don't count, because they're not paying anything.

And your "distribution fee" is fixed?  Usually it's by the kWh, just like the generation charge.

Where do you live, BTW?

Anyhow, I'm not unreasonable, I just wanted to see someone get out their bill and/or calculator and report more accurately what their charge is -- because for all I knew, everyone I've seen "quote" their rate just glanced at their bill, looked at the "generation charge" line, and ran with it.

I was just double-checking that people were including any other linear/variable charges as well. Sometimes the elec company likes to break it down "actual wholesale electricity cost, on which we make nothing" and "transmission/dist. charge, which is what we're actually charging you for our services".

Matthew
FreeJAC
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 July 15, 2011, 06:40:58 PM

Alberta Canada is de-regulated as well. My rate fluctuates with the market 6 to 9/kwh is typical. You can sign a contract to get it locked in at 8 ATM if I wanted to. Right now I'm paying 6.

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