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Electricity Load

DOE_Wind_Energy_2
(The Wind Energy - the US Department of Energy)
 

 

- Understanding Electricityl Load

If you pay your electricity bill, then you have an electrical load. Knowing how to calculate your electricity load can help explain your monthly electricity bill and provide actionable information to help you reduce your monthly electricity bill. In an era of innovative utility rate structures, such as demand charging and time-of-use rates, and the increasing electrification of homes, air source heat pumps, and electric vehicles, knowing how to calculate your electrical load can provide you with Help you can determine how much you can save by installing solar or solar-plus-storage installations on your property.

 

- Electrical Load

Essentially, an electrical load is anything that consumes electricity. In fact, from a technical point of view, an electrical load has a very specific definition: it is the part of a circuit that consumes electrical energy. 

Technically, there are many different components in a circuit that can act as electrical loads. However, as a homeowner, you only need to focus on your appliances and applications: Your electrical load depends on any electrical application in your home—from lights to toasters to washing machines to electric vehicles. 

Importantly, electrical load is a measure of power: how much electrical output is required to actually run any appliance in your home. However, the electrical load affects the energy you consume, i.e. how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you use each month, and this value emerges and determines your electricity bill.

 

- Why Your Electrical Load Is Important

Your property's electrical load can play two different roles on your monthly utility bill: 

  • First, if you're on an on-demand rate, your monthly bill depends on the maximum amount of electricity you need to get from the grid for an hour in a month. Therefore, calculating the electrical load of all your appliances can help you determine how high the demand bill you will see at the end of the month is likely to be. What's more, knowing how much power each appliance requires can help you determine which appliances to avoid turning on at the same time, reducing the magnitude of your demand charges. With careful planning, you can reduce your maximum monthly electricity needs and save money on demand-based electricity bills.
  • Second, and more importantly for most homeowners in the country, the amount of electricity an appliance needs to run is directly related to the energy the appliance consumes, which ultimately affects your electricity bill. For example, if you turn on a TV with a 230-watt electrical load for 5 hours, it will consume 1,150 watt-hours, or just over 1 kilowatt-hour, which is the unit used to calculate utility bills. Understanding the important role certain power-consuming devices play in your monthly electricity usage can also help you reduce your electricity bill.

 

- Electrical Load Impacts Your Solar Installation Prospects

Knowing your electrical load is critical to properly designing a solar or solar-plus-storage system for your home. Knowing how much electricity you consume and why, you can size your solar panel system to cover 100% or more! - Your current and future monthly electricity usage. Additionally, if you're considering adding storage to your solar panel installation, knowing how much power each device requires can help you determine which energy storage option will give you enough backup power to run all your important devices for extended periods of time.


- Electrical Load Calculation

Perhaps the U.S. Department of Energy provides the best tool for calculating electrical loads. Their Energy Appliance Calculator (https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/estimating-appliance-and-home-electronic-energy-use) allows you to enter a single appliance to see the average power requirement for that type of appliance, as then See how much power you'll be consuming -- and how much it will affect your electricity bill -- if you're going to turn the device on for a certain number of hours. To calculate your electrical load, you can add the total wattage of each appliance and see your home's total cumulative electrical load.



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