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Measure household electricity usage in Megawatt hours / year

 
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 2:16 am    Post subject: Measure household electricity usage in Megawatt hours / year Reply with quote

Household electrical usage is generally in the 1-10 Megawatt hour per year range. For instance, by looking at your utility bill, you can determine your daily power usage. 15 kilowatt hours per day is not an unusual figure. That translates to about 5.5 megawatt hours per year. Over the last 10 years, the cost of generating a megawatt hour has ranged roughly between $20 and $140 (the Enron effect).

Knowing your yearly usage (5.5) and the current price per megawatt hour (say $60), I can determine that I will spend $330 for the generation of the power I will use this year. Distribution, transmission, and taxes all add to this figure. At the high end, I might expect $800 or more, plus the other figures.

This kind of measurement is especially useful for sizing solar photovoltaic systems. At my location (Portland, Oregon), I can expect between 1100 and 1300 hours of peak sunlight per year, so to cover my entire usage, I'd need to install a 5 kilowatt system (to generate 5.5 megawatt hours).

-Brian
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