The Cost to Operate Your Home

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Cost to Run Appliances?

Where can I find a breakdown (chart) of estimated power usage/costs for items such as dorm style refrigerators, microwave ovens, coffee makers, etc.? Or is there an easy formula that I can use to calculate it?

Visit Energy Carrier's Website

Go online to your energy carrier's website. They should have a printable chart available. Or call the customer service number on your energy bill.
S. P. in ND

Use This Formula

This site doesn't list the electrical usage of a mini-fridge, but it does cover most other appliances.

And yes, there is a formula you can use, but it requires knowing the wattage of the appliance. If you're buying it new, this information should be on the EnergyGuide label.

Multiply the wattage by the number of number of hours you expect to use it in a month. Divide that by 1,000. That will give you the monthly power usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Then multiply that by your power company's rate (cost per kilowatt-hour - usually a few cents) to figure out the monthly cost.

Abundance of Online Information

There are a number of web sites with this information, such as

Tool that May Be Useful

Every piece of equipment is going to be different. You can measure wattage using a Kill-A-Watt , which will tell you how many watts a specific item uses over a given period of time. A watt is normally reported as watts/hr. Go to to read more. You might also find them at your big box hardware store, such as Lowe's or Home Depot.

Take the Next Step:

  • Purchase an electricity usage monitor. If you can't find it locally, you can purchase the Kill-A-Watt at

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