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How Televisions Have Become Increasingly Energy Efficient Over the Years

TV sets became a popular consumer product after World War II, and they’ve been a constant fixture in living rooms and bedrooms ever since. Televisions have come a long way since those early days, in terms of programming, looks and also how much energy they consume. The first TV sets were CRT styles, cathode ray tube, and this was the predominant type for decades. The arrival of LCDs, plasma and LED display technologies was the death knell for CRTs. The thing is, most CRTs use less energy than plasma televisions, but they lack the larger screen, sleek designs, user-friendly features, and higher resolutions of newer LCDs and plasmas. Today, you won’t find too many of those big and bulky CRT TV sets sold in the U.S. anymore. However, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can still buy new models in China, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Most Americans will try to hold onto their TV set as long as they can. Unless you’re the kind of person that always has to have the latest technology, you’ll probably only replace your TV every seven or eight years. If it’s time to upgrade your television, here are some choices to consider.

TV types in use today

Yes, CRTs have gone the way of the Edsel, and it looks like plasma TVs may be headed to the TV graveyard soon, too. That said, you can still buy plasma TVs, and now they’re much cheaper than LEDs and LCDs. While many people agree that plasma TVs have a superior picture quality and offer a better viewing experience over LCDs, most plasma models consume more power than those old, bulky CRTs and much more than LEDs and LCDs of comparable size. Also, plasma TVs aren’t light weight, so that’s another thing you’ll want to consider. Other things to consider with plasmas are their lifespan — most have a shorter lifespan than LCDs and LEDs.

The early 2000s saw the rise of LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs. Today, they’re the most commonly produced and sold television. When they first arrived on the scene, their thin and lightweight design (compared to CRTs and plasmas) was hard to miss. The slim profile was an instant hit with consumers, as was the sharper resolution and larger screen sizes. It’s true that the larger the screen size, the more power they consume. However, with an LCD, the difference between 32-inch screen size and one that’s twice as big is just a few dollars more a year. So, if you value a bigger screen size, the cost of paying a bit more annually is not such a big deal. And, if you want to compare lifespans, LCDs have a much longer life than plasmas. LCDs use cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) for backlighting—this is important to remember when we get to LED TVs.

TVs keep getting better in energy use. Take LEDs, for example. While LEDs still use LCD technology, they differ in that they use energy-efficient LEDs to illuminate the screen. They also use much less power than their LCD and plasma counterparts. In fact, LEDs use almost 70% less energy than plasma TVs. If you’re looking to impress your friends at the next Super Bowl party, you can find an LED TV screen size that’s up to 90-inches! Plus, LEDs have a thinner frame to boot.

One of the most energy efficient TVs for 2019 is also an economical choice. The VIZIO E75-F1 features direct-lit LED technology and 74.6-inch screen size with 2160p resolution. This ENERGY STAR certified television will cost about $19.06 a year to operate. Smaller sized LEDs, like the 19-inch direct-lit LED, RCA RT1971-AC will cost an average of $3.31 a year to operate.

Certified energy efficient TVs

With bigger screen sizes and higher resolutions, you can expect more energy consumption. So, if you want a TV that consumes less power, go smaller and keep the screen dimmer. Of course, if bigger is better in your book and you’re in the market to upgrade your television, you can find out how much power your new, bigger screen TV consumes. All you have to do is look for the Energy Guide label. You can’t miss it. Since 2011, the FTC has required every TV to display a bright yellow and black label. These labels estimate how much it costs to run a TV for a year. Of course, this estimate assumes that you’re paying an average of 11 cents/kWh electricity and you’re watching 5 hours of TV a day. So, the actual cost depends on your local utility rates and viewing habits.

When you’re shopping for certified energy efficient televisions, look for ENERGY STAR® models. ENERGY STAR® TVs can provide energy savings and environmental protection. The good news is that most of the top TV models sold in the U.S. are ENERGY STAR® certified, so it won’t be hard to find a model that can save you money.

Ways to make your TVs more energy efficient

The average American watches a little over 5 hours of TV a day. Yes, getting a newer model is an excellent start to minimizing your TV-related energy costs. However, you may not even need to get a new TV if you apply some tips to save energy and readjust your TV habits. Even the smallest changes can make your existing TV more energy efficient. If you don’t need it, consider disabling the “always on” and voice command features. Be sure to turn off the TV when nobody is watching. Some models have built-in timers to help you curb your viewing habits, like falling asleep with the TV on.

Switching to a new electricity provider can help you save money. Does your family watch TV at night? Discover energy plans and providers with special nighttime and weekend rates. At Vault Electricity, you can compare the top retail electricity providers and find a plan that works for your household.

Best Practices for Replacing Fuses Within Your Home

Does your home have a fuse box? If so, there might come a time when you’ll need to replace a fuse. If you own a home built before 1960, the chances are good that the type of electrical panel on your home is a fuse box, with fuses screwed in, providing over-current protection to each circuit in the home. Besides electrical panels in older homes, you’ll also find fuses throughout your house. Fuses are in many household appliances and electronics, and keep electrical surges from damaging these appliances and circuits.

When a fuse blows, you might hear a loud pop, and, if it’s a part of an electrical panel, you’ll lose power in certain parts of your house. Losing power is a bit of an inconvenience, but blowing a fuse can also be a good thing. After all, that fuse just played a critical safety role in preventing an electrical fault, which can lead to fires. When fuses work correctly, they can prevent damaging electrical overload to appliances and electrical equipment. In short, fuses blow because they’ve just blocked an over-loaded current flow in a wire.

Become Familiar with the Electrical Panel

Replacing blown fuses in appliances and electronics is an easier task than having to replace a fuse in a fuse box. If you need to replace a fuse in an appliance or a piece of electronic equipment, you’ll usually find them mounted on the outside of the unit.

Now, let’s jump to talking about the electrical panel. There’s no need to panic because replacing fuses in a fuse box is easier than you think. First, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the electrical panel — look for them in the garage, storage room or hallway, and in older homes, you might find them located outside, near the electric meter. It pays to plan ahead, so when it does happen, you’ll have the proper replacement fuses and know just where to go to replace the blown out fuse. If you need to replace a fuse at night, chances are it’ll be dark, so it’s also a good idea to know where you keep your flashlight.

Safety First

While you should be mindful anytime you replace a fuse, replacing a blown fuse in an electrical panel requires additional safety precautions.

  • Be sure to turn off lights and unplug devices and appliances so you can prevent overloading the new replacement fuses. We recommend wearing rubber-soled shoes and gloves. Also, make sure you’re not performing any electrical work standing on water — it’s critical that everything be dry, including your hands. As an extra bit of precaution, use safety glasses to protect your eyes. Once you’ve got the proper safety equipment, you can start accessing your electrical panel.
  • Next step is to disconnect the power to the fuse box. Once the power is off, locate the blown fuse. You can find the blown fuse by looking for fuses that might be discolored, cloudy or have melted and broken metal pieces inside. Once located, unscrew the bad fuse and replace it with the same sized fuse. If you can’t find the amperage, you can always take the fuse to your local hardware store and have them help you find the right size. When you’ve got the proper fuse, screw it into the exact electrical panel socket of the original.
  • Once the new fuse is in place, turn on the main power to the electrical panel. If everything looks good, you can plug in a few electrical appliances and some lights that are in the zone controlled by the fuse.
  • If you’ve replaced the fuse and it’s still blowing, it might be time to contact a professional electrician.
  • Is your home over 50 years old? Older homes may have issues with electrical wiring, so it’s a good idea to hire an electrician to inspect the wiring system.

Proper Fuse Replacement

Be sure to replace a blown fuse with the correct one, because replacing it with a larger amperage rated fuse can be a safety hazard. Usually, there’s an amperage and voltage rating marked on the fuse. If you aren’t sure of the size, use the smallest sized fuse. If it’s a smaller size, it’ll blow. Whereas, if the fuse is too big, it won’t protect from excessive currents and can cause safety hazards. Here’s a breakdown on the type of fuses you’ll likely encounter in a fuse box and electrical appliances. Become familiar with the type you need and keep a few extra in a storage place you’ll remember.

  • Type-SL fuses – rating: 120 volts/up to 30 amps. These are one of the most common plug style fuses found in a home. These medium-duty, time-delay fuses feature a rejection base, which can prevent homeowners from using the wrong type of fuse for the circuit. These fuse types feature a heat-absorbing solder attached to the fuse element — this is the part that blows out or burns out during a circuit overload. The time-delay feature allows the fuse element to absorb a temporary circuit overload.
  • Type-TL fuses – same as Type-SL, except TL fuses feature an Edison base (looks like a light bulb)
  • Type-W fuses – rating: 120 volts/up to 30 amps. These general-purpose fuse types are not used today. They have no time delay fuse element.
  • Type-S and Type-T – rating: 120 volts/up to 30 amps. These are heavy-duty time-delay fuses typically used for circuits with high motor loads or certain circuits with motors that cycle on and off often. These fuse types have a longer delay time than SL and TL types. However, their bases are similar to their SL and TL cousins.

If you’re still on the fence about replacing fuses inside a fuse box, call a qualified technician.

Whether you live in an older home or a newer home in Texas, you have a choice of selecting an electricity provider. At Vault Electricity, we can help. We list electricity rates in real-time and work with the most trusted providers in Texas.

Work From Home? How to Pick a Provider for Your Home and Business

About 3.9 million people worked from home in 2017. Telecommuting is on the upswing, jumping 115 percent since 2005. And while working from home has some advantages, like being able to work in your pajamas if you wish and avoiding a stressful commute, there are some challenges, too. Sure, you’re saving on fuel costs, but you may also be using more energy at home than you usually would. Daily work and living essentials contribute to a rise in energy use. Leaving the lights on, running a heater or AC and using tools of the trade, such as your office equipment, are all things you’ll turn on when you’re tackling your assignments from home. You can reduce your energy use when you’re working from home, and here’s how.

Work During Off-Peak Periods 

Working from home offers flexibility — you can usually work the hours that suit you best. If your electricity provider offers weekly energy usage reports, it’s a good idea to ask for one. Weekly usage reports give you an idea of how much energy you consume throughout the day and night. You can also use these weekly reports to help you manage how much energy you’re using during work hours. The time of day you consume energy has a direct effect on your electricity bill. The good news is that with the right time management, you can reduce energy costs — many electricity providers offer lower rates during off-peak hours. And while off-peak hours vary from provider to provider, late afternoon electricity rates, from about 1 to 7 pm, are typically higher than morning and nighttime rates. So, if you can get your work done during off-peak hours, such as in the morning and nighttime, you can save money.

Another great option is finding an electricity provider offering free electricity plans on nights or weekends. You’ll find great plans designed to save you money on nights and weekends throughout the State of Texas, whether you work from home in Houston, Abilene, Corpus Christi, Tyler, Dallas/Ft. Worth or other areas. For instance, you can select a Direct Energy plan offering free electricity on the weekends. So, if you can get your work done from Friday at 6 pm to Sunday at 11:59 pm, you can save money. There’s also a 100% renewable green energy plan from TXU Energy offering a 100% Discount on all energy charges and TDU delivery charges per kWh during the nights hours. Signing up for a renewable energy plan can help you reduce your carbon footprint, too.

These are just a couple of examples of what some electricity providers are offering in different regions of Texas. With a little research and comparison shopping, you’ll find the right plan suited to your needs, whether you’re motivated to work during “normal” business hours or weekends and nights.

Tips

Once you pick the right provider, you can do some other things to help keep your energy use down while you’re working from home.

  1. Use smart power strips
    Are you working from home? Chances are pretty good that you’re working on a computer. Your home office setup has probably got all the other office necessities, too, like a printer, scanner, router, FAX machine and a cell phone charger. If you have your electronic devices plugged into a traditional power strip, they’re drawing power, even when they’re not in use. This standby power is known as phantom power or vampire power, and it’s sucking your energy dry and increasing your carbon output. You can slay these vampires upgrading to smart power strips. With a smart power strip, you still have the convenience of expanding your outlets, with the advantage of having an intelligent power strip that can detect devices in standby mode to cut off power. Smart power strips can detect voltage drops and make changes to reduce energy consumption.

  2. Take advantage of natural sunlight
    If you’re all about working during the day, you can still reduce energy use. Choose the brightest spot in your home to work. In the winter, open the curtains and blinds and let in the sunshine. Natural light is excellent for working. Turn off desk lamps and overhead lighting, and you’ll see savings. Letting in natural sunlight has another advantage — during the winter, it can naturally heat your home so you can limit how often the heater kicks on. So what about when the weather is warm? In the summer, you’ll want to close the blinds. Of course, this can dampen the amount of natural sunlight that enters your home. On the flipside, shutting the blinds can help cool your home.

  3. Turn off devices you don’t need
    Do you need to have the television on while you’re working? Besides draining energy, televisions are distracting and can keep you from concentrating on the task at hand. You can take it a step further by unplugging the TV and other electronic devices you don’t need.

  4. Use ENERGY STAR® equipment
    How old is your office equipment? You can save money with an upgrade. Buy ENERGY STAR® rated monitors, computers, printers and copiers. ENERGY STAR® office equipment uses less energy to perform daily tasks. Plus, when they’re not in use, they automatically go into a low-power mode.

Be an Energy Watchdog

Do you live and work in a large household? Whether you have lots of kids running around or roommates, your presence enables you to take charge of the energy use in your home. Children are especially prone to leaving on the lights, tablets and other electronic devices. You have the power to become an energy watchdog. Turn off electric devices like televisions and computers when the kids are at school. You can use this time to set some household rules regarding energy use.

Make the Switch Now is a great time to switch electricity providers, whether you work from home or commute. Compare real-time rates at Vault Electricity and find a plan that works for your household.

How Mobile Electronics Impact Your Energy Bill

When it comes to energy usage and its effect on our utility bill, we typically think of bigger devices, like lighting and large appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines. As mobile electronics become a bigger part of our lives, so do all the devices that come into our household. Cell phones, electric toothbrushes, iPads, electric razors, laptops, portable game systems — the list of mobile electronics we plug in keeps growing.

The significant increase of mobile electronics in our daily lives has had a profound impact on the amount of energy we consume. When you compare today’s residential energy consumption to ten years ago, you’ll see an increase of about 20%. A large portion of this increase is due to mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other handheld electronic devices. The way we charge these devices plays a significant role in energy consumption — we leave these devices plugged in when they don’t need to be.

Vampire Energy

How techy are you? If you’re the kind of person that likes to keep up with new gadgets, then you’ve probably got gadgets galore in your home. And, if you’ve got a household full of children, not only are you dealing with trying to get their attention away from their devices, you’ve got devices sucking energy. Have you ever taken the time to notice how many device chargers you have plugged into a power strip or outlet? It’s a mess of wires, and these devices are consuming energy, and tacking on the dollars to your energy bill. We call this additional type of energy draining vampire energy, phantom load or standby energy. Vampire energy can have a scary impact on your energy bill. Some households can have as many as 20 vampire devices unnecessarily plugged in. The EPA estimates that up to $10 billion worth of energy is sucked up by vampire energy power annually.

How to Improve Practices

Unplug your chargers when they aren’t active. There’s no need to keep your cell phone plugged in when it’s at full charge. Overcharging or frequent charging of your mobile device’s battery can do more harm than good — it can deplete your battery life. One thing you can do is invest in a smart energy strip. You can plug your charger into a smart energy strip, so when your phone is at its capacity, it automatically stops using electricity. These smart strips detect when your devices are on standby mode. This way, you can save your battery life and the life of the charger. Plus, the savings to your energy bill start to add up. Smart energy strips are ideal for a wide variety of mobile electronic devices that use a charger.

Another solution is to upgrade your mobile phone. If you’ve ever owned an older model phone, you know how fast the battery depletes itself, no matter how often you charge it. As hard as it may be to get rid of our old mobile phones and gadgets, you can upgrade to new models and enjoy a shiny device with battery power that won’t suck your energy consumption dry.

Mobile Apps to Help Reduce Energy Use (and lower your bill!)

Did you know there are mobile phone apps you can download to help you reduce energy costs? These are fantastic mobile apps to have, whether you own a small business or are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption at home. Certain apps can help you be pro-active. When you can closely monitor your usage, you can make the necessary changes to lower your bill. Here are some great mobile apps to consider.

Panoramic Power

We like this app because it allows you to see where energy is being used, in real-time, much like finding the best electricity rates in real time. With the Panoramic Power app, you can see where the electrical usage is at the circuit level. It displays everything consuming power in your home or business, from the HVAC to lighting, kitchen appliances, and other things plugged in, like power chargers for your mobile device. By knowing what’s draining energy, you can see where there’s excess usage. It’s compatible with Android, iOS and PCs.

Energy Cost Calculator

Here’s another great app for getting down to the nitty-gritty of energy consumption in your home or business. You can use the Energy Cost Calculator app to calculate the operating costs of energy usage of your plugged in equipment. You can use it to help you budget your energy bill by calculating the costs per day, week, and a month or by the year. Use it on your Android or iOS phone.

EnergySaver

Do you want to know how much you spend throughout the seasons? With the EnergySaver app, you can get detailed reports on your electricity, water and natural gas usage. One of the great things about this app is how it can identify vampire energy. Works with Android and iOS.

Small devices are having a significant impact on our energy bill. The good news is that you can take charge of your energy budget with simple things like unplugging devices. Are you ready to switch electricity providers? You can shop for an electricity provider that sweetens the deal with bill credits based on your energy usage. 

How Have City Wide Electricity Grids Evolved

Electric companies have been supplying electricity to homes and businesses since the late 1800s. However, in those early days, there wasn’t much of an organized electrical grid as there is today. It was a non-centralized mess of wires overlapping each other. Upstart electrical companies came and went, leaving discarded wires in their wake. Plus, electricity wasn’t as readily accessible to the general public — electricity was typically for business owners and the wealthy. Two different types of energy systems, DC (direct current) and AC (alternating current) were competing to offer their electrical systems to cities.

The AC system, invented by Nikola Tesla, allowed high voltages to go across long distances. This system transformed high voltage to a lower voltage, making it a better choice for customers to use. This opened the door for utility companies to build electricity grids over larger areas.

An Interconnected Electricity Grid

Telegraphs and light bulbs lead to telephones, radios, televisions and so on. The demand for electricity started to grow steadily by the time the 1950s rolled around. Luckily, by this time, electricity providers were getting better organized. Electricity grids were interconnected, which allowed for greater access to electricity, and also made electricity service more affordable to the masses. It was also during this time that America’s centralized electrical grid improved. Over time, the electric grid has evolved to become the interconnected engineering marvel that it is today. The digital age has ushered in an instantly connected world, increasing the demand for electricity.

So what makes up the electricity grid? There are three main grids in the U.S. Two grids, the western and eastern interconnections, are connected to the Canadian grids. The third grid, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) serves most of Texas. The electricity grid includes four major components. First are the sources that generate electricity, which include fossil fuels like natural gas, coal and petroleum, as well as other sources like renewable energy. Fossil fuels make the most significant percentage. Fossil fuels are limited, and the steam and gas turbines that burn these fuels to generate electricity cause pollution. Cleaner electricity generators include hydroelectric dams, nuclear power, wind turbines and solar panels. Utility companies own the electricity generators, and they vary significantly in how they’re distributed and used on the power grid. Many customers in Texas can choose whether they want to receive electricity from fossil fuels or a renewable energy source.

The second major component of the electricity grid is transmission lines. These lines can be installed overhead or underground, and these highly interconnected lines carry high-voltage electricity. They connect electricity generators to customers over long distances. The voltages transmitted are much higher than what you’ll use in your home or business, so they’re converted back to a lower voltage for use across the three main grids in the U.S. The TDU (Transmission Distribution Utility) maintains the power lines and responds to outages.

The third component on the electrical system is the distribution network. At this point, the transmission lines have reached the transformer. Electricity is transmitted to a network of local electricity distribution lines and passed through transformers in a step-down process to lower the voltage. The subtransmission customer receives a higher voltage (26 kV and 69 kV) and lowers the voltage to the primary customers (regional distribution substations), which in turn lowers the voltage to120V and 240V for secondary customers (homes, businesses, schools, etc.)

Where the transmission grid ends is where the electricity reaches the consumer. This is the point where people use electricity in their daily lives.

Electric Grid Evolving Like Modern Cities

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. Today’s modern cities are transforming the way America’s electric grid works. Modern cities are embracing new technologies, including the way electricity is generated, stored and transferred.

Spurred on by the energy crisis of the 1970s, Congress opened the door for competition in electricity production, allowing renewable energy to enter the marketplace. It has taken decades, but the shift from coal to cleaner energy sources is on the rise. In fact, the future of coal in the electrical grid is bleak. This is good news for cities choking on pollution due to coal-burning energy plants. Wind and solar energy are clean. The cost to make electricity from wind and solar is declining rapidly. Consumers in cities and rural areas are embracing renewable energy too. You’ll find solar panels installed not just on the rooftops of homes, but also you’ll also see them used for commercial and industrial complexes.

Alternatives like renewable energy sources are evolving America’s electrical grid. The challenge many experts are facing is how to make the stream of renewable energy power steadier. After all, there isn’t always a stream of constant wind or solar power. And on days where there is a continuous stream, the electricity grid can’t store all the energy, creating a surge of power that creates outages. We are continually evolving, and the future of the modern electricity grid is a work in progress.

Vault Electricity makes it easy for consumers in Texas to choose their electricity provider. We work with trusted electricity providers, from traditional to green energy providers, and we display electricity rates in real time.

Electric Companies Are Offering Free Smart Thermostats and Rebates

Updated May 2019

Now is a great time to pick up a new smart thermostat for your home. The savings on your monthly electricity bill will be immediately noticeable and appreciated.

Check below to see if there is an electricity provider in your area offering an incentive for you to take the plunge.

Smart Thermostat Offers

State Power Company Promotion
Arizona APS $30 bill credit
California LADWP $75 rebate
California SoCalGas $75 rebate
California Southern California Edison $150 rebate
Colorado Xcel Energy $50 rebate
Georgia Georgia Power $75 rebate
Idaho Avista Utilities $75 rebate
Idaho Rocky Mountain Power $100 rebate
Ilinois Ameren Illinois $100 rebate
Illinois ComEd $100 rebate
Illinois MidAmerican Energy $25 rebate
Illinois Peoples Gas $20 rebate
Indiana AEP Indiana Michigan Power $225 rebate
Indiana Vectren $75 rebate
Iowa Alliant Energy $100 rebate
Iowa MidAmerican Energy $75 rebate
Louisiana SWEPCO $100 rebate
Maryland Baltimore Gas & Electric $100 rebate
Maryland PEPCO $100 rebate
Massachusetts Berkshire Gas $100 rebate
Massachusetts National Grid Massachusetts $100 rebate
Michigan AEP Indiana Michigan Power $225 rebate
Michigan SEMCO Energy $70 rebate
Michigan DTE Energy $50 rebate
Minnesota ALP Utilities $25 rebate
Missouri Ameren Missouri $50 rebate
Nevada NV Energy $25 rebate
Nevada NV Energy free smart thermostat
New Hampshire Liberty Utilities $100 rebate
New York Consolidated Edison $135 rebate
New York National Grid Long Island $75 rebate
New York National Grid NYC $75 rebate
New York National Grid Upstate $75 rebate
North Carolina Duke Energy $50 rebate
Ohio AEP Ohio $75 rebate
Ohio Columbia Gas of Ohio $75 rebate
Oklahoma AEP Public Service Co of OK $150 rebate
Oregon Avista Utilities $75 rebate
Oregon Portland General Electric $75 rebate
Oregon Cascade Natural Gas $50 rebate
Oregon NW Natural Gas $50 rebate
Oregon Pacific Power $50 rebate
Oregon Energy Trust $50 rebate
Pennsylvania Champion Energy $50 rebate
Pennsylvania PPL $100 rebate
Pennsylvania UGI Electric $100 rebate
Pennsylvania UGI Gas $100 rebate
Rhode Island National Grid Rhode Island $75 rebate
South Carolina Duke Energy $50 rebate
South Dakota MidAmerican Energy $25 rebate
Texas Champion Energy $50 rebate
Texas CoServ $50 bill credit
Texas CPS Energy free Honeywell WiFi Thermostat
Texas Direct Energy free Echo Dot
Texas Gexa Energy free Ecobee3 lite
Texas Infinite Energy free Nest
Texas Reliant Energy free Nest
Texas SWEPCO $100 rebate
Texas TriEagle Energy free Honeywell WiFi Thermostat
Utah Dominion Energy $50 rebate
Utah Rocky Mountain Power $50 rebate
Vermont Burlington Electric $50 rebate
Vermont Vermont Gas $50 rebate
Virginia Colmbia Gas of Virginia $50 rebate
Washington Avista Utilities $75 rebate
Washington Pacific Power $50 rebate
Washington Puget Sound Energy $75 rebate
Wisconsin Alliant Energy $75 rebate
Wisconsin Wisconsin Utilities $75 rebate
Wyoming Rocky Mountain Power $100 rebate

The Electrical Usage of Ceiling Fans

Whenever you leave a ceiling fan on for a full day, you might think that you have used a lot of electricity to operate it, however, ceiling fans are incredibly energy efficient. To maximize the energy savings, you can upgrade older ceiling fans with newer, energy star, models. Fans with a light bulb do have a higher energy consumption rate than just a fan itself, however, compared to an air conditioner, fans are still the cheapest cooling device you can use.

The Mathematics Behind the Cost of a Fan

The calculations to determine how much it costs to run a ceiling fan are not too complicated.

If you are able to determine how many watts your fan uses, be it on a label on the fan or searching for the model online, you can quickly find out how much your fan costs you to run, per hour.

First, take the number of watts that your fan operates at and multiply that by the cost of a kilowatt hour your electric company charges. This is typically shown on your most recent electric bill. Then, divide that number by 1,000, to convert the calculation from watts to kilowatt hours. This is what it costs to run your fan for one hour. If you leave your fan on for eight hours a day, multiply the kilowatt cost by 8 hours and you have the exact amount that it costs to run your ceiling fan daily.

Now, if you have a light bulb on your fan, you need to calculate the amount of electricity that the light itself uses, with the same formula, and add that to the kilowatt cost of the fan itself. If you only have the light on for two hours a day, you would only multiply the final figure by two, rather than eight, before adding the numbers together.

Fans generally use between 10 and 120 watts of electricity to operate. The larger the fan, the more it costs. If you have an industrial sized fan, it will use far more watts than a small table top fan. Total wattage depends on the size and energy efficiency.   

Light Bulbs typically use 40-100 watts, however, if you use LED light bulbs, the wattage may be only 16 watts, with the same brightness. Therefore, energy saving lights make a huge difference when you take into consideration the number of hours a day we keep the lights on.

cheap electricity bills

Fan Cooling Versus Air Conditioner Cooling

Fans are designed to circulate air. When the air moves, it helps to keep you drier, which helps you feel cooler. They don’t actually change the temperature of a room substantially, however.

Air conditioners do reduce the temperature of the air, helping to keep you and the room cool.

Depending on the temperature inside your home, the benefit of a fan verses and air conditioner is determined by the cost to run each device and your comfort level. As previously mentioned, fans run on up to 120 watts. Air conditioners, even small ones, typically use 750 watts. The larger residential units can use well over 3,500 watts. That’s a huge difference in electricity usage.

However, if you cannot tolerate high temperatures or you have a medical condition that makes breathing when its warm challenging, you may need to find the most energy efficient air conditioner and pay the extra money for a cooler living environment.

Fans use a very low amount of electricity. When comparing fans to air conditioners, a large fan is still a fraction of the cost to run as a small air conditioning unit. That’s why we love ceiling fans so much. Make sure you compare various models and get one with the low energy requirement you need.