phys questions Academic Essay

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In this assignment, you will try to estimate your electric bill. If you don’t receive an electric bill, get one from a relative or friend, and estimate their usage instead. If you share an electric bill with roommates, either estimate all of your usage combined, or else divide up the bill appropriately. Just be clear about what you did.

Part 1) Fill in the attached worksheet by choosing at least 10 devices in your home that use electricity. Try to choose the devices that you think use the most energy. For each one,

  1. Write down what type of device it is. Get specific about the brand and model if possible. Look up the power consumption of the device (in units of kilowatts). If possible, find the power consumption of your specific model, either written on it or using the manufacturer’s website. If not, estimate its power consumption by looking up similar devices online.
  2. Estimate how long you use the device per day. (Convert this number to hours.)  Note: For devices that switch themselves on and off, such as a refrigerator, be careful about whether you are working with an average power consumption of the device, or the power consumption only when the device is running.
  3. Multiply (1) and (2), and you will know the Energy that the device uses per day (in units of kWhr).
  4. Multiply (3) by your cost to determine the cost to run that device per day.  Look up the cost of a kWhr on your last electric bill. (Be sure to include all costs, including generation and distribution–see the lecture notes for help.) Write this in the box at the top of the worksheet.
  5. Multiply (4) by 30 to get the cost per month.


  1. Item:  Laptop Computer.

Model: HP Elitebook

Power consumption of 30 Watts = 0.03kW

  1. Use:  4 hours per day
  2. Energy: (0.03) x (4) = 0.12 kWhr per day
  3. Using $0.15 per kWhr as an example. Cost: (0.15) x (0.12) = $0.018 or 1.8 cents per day
  4. Cost: (0.018) x (30) = $0.54 per month

Total all of your esimated costs in the box at the bottom right of the worksheet.

Suggestions for other devices to try:

Heating and cooling devices (AC, electric space heaters)

Cable Box


Light bulb


Kitchen Appliances

Hair/Grooming Appliances

Cell Phone


Vacuum Cleaner

Part 2) Add your answers for all the devices you chose to calculate the total cost per month to run your list of devices. Look at your electric bill closely, and also add any other service charges that are in addition to the energy you use. (Usually, there is a flat fee added no matter how much energy you use.) Now compare your estimated bill and actual bill and comment on the comparison. Although your estimates probably won’t be perfectly accurate, try to include enough of your most used devices to get reasonably close to your electric bill. (If your estimate is *way* off, try to choose more devices or refine your estimates.

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