Trying to cut electrical costs? Want to figure out just how much electricity your dryer uses? With a little math, you can easily find out how much each appliance costs you.

To get a general idea of how much electricity your appliance uses, look on the bottom or back of the appliance, on its nameplate. Most appliances have the maximum wattage stamped on their nameplates. If the appliance's wattage appears on the plate, skip to step 3. On some, the electrical usage is marked in amperes, or amps. If you see a number with A after it, continue to step 2.

Convert the amps to watts. To do so, take the amperes and multiply by the voltage used by the appliance. Most appliances use 120 volts, but larger appliances such as stoves and dryers use 240 volts. For example, 24A x 240V = 5,760 watts

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Take your wattage and convert it to kilowatt-hours (kWh). Just divide the wattage by 1,000, or move the decimal point back three spaces. For example, 5,760 watts/1,000 = 5.76 kWh.

Look at your electric bill and find out what your electric company charges. There will be two type of charges listed: Power Supply and Delivery/Distribution. Add these two rates together.

For example, if your Power Supply charge is 274 kWh @ .06486 and your Distribution Charge is 274 KWh @ .03547, use this calculation: .06486 + .03547 = $.10003 per kWh.

Take your charge per kWh and multiply it by your estimated kWh used. You will then have how much it costs per hour to use that appliance. For example, 5.76 kWh x $.10003 = $.576/hour.

Multiply the hourly rate by the number of hours you use that appliance a day to figure out the daily cost.

#### Tip

You may be able to find your electrical company rates online.

#### Warning

These calculations will give you a general estimate of how much electricity an appliance uses based on the information provided on the appliance's nameplate. To get a more accurate measurement, you'll need an electricity usage monitor (see Resources, below).