How much money does forgetfulness waste?
September 18, 2008 6:18 PM   Subscribe

How much money does carelessness and forgetfulness waste? When I forget to turn off lights, how much more am I paying for electricity?

When I forget to turn the light off when I go to work for the day, or forget to turn the AC off when I leave for the day, how much does each day/each light cost me? What about leaving the computer on overnight vs. turning it off?

Yea, I know it's also bad for the environment to waste energy, and I usually remember.. but wondering how much money I'm wasting... is it worth putting post-it notes on all the doors to remind me to turn off all the lights as I leave?
posted by KateHasQuestions to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well, you can figure it out with some simple math if you know how many watts the appliance uses. Electricity is billed in kilowatt-hours, and is usually something like 10 cents per kWh. So, say a 60 watt light bulb left on for 8 hours would be 480 Wh or 0.480 kWh, so it would cost you about 5 cents.

Here's a web page that looks like it will do some of the calculations for you (and has a list of sample appliances).
posted by dixie flatline at 6:27 PM on September 18, 2008

dixie flatline gives you the simple cost calculation. Just multiply the wattage of the device times the number of hours and then times 10 cents.

But should you use post-it notes? Sure, if that's what it takes. Would you leave the water faucet running for 8 hours, regardless of the cost? Waste is waste and the environmental effects are significant. Be nice to the earth.
posted by JackFlash at 7:37 PM on September 18, 2008

You can program your cost per kwh into the Kill-a-watt, plug a device (such as an airconditioner) into it, and watch your pennies go away.
posted by SirStan at 8:31 PM on September 18, 2008

The lights won't hurt you much unless it's all of them. The AC will empty out your wallet and the computer will take whatever spare change you have. With those two you might as well have 3 extra refridgerators plugged in with the doors left open(well maybe not quite that bad).
posted by docmccoy at 10:28 PM on September 18, 2008

To add to docmccoy, wasting any energy (or other resource) will cost you, but in general anything which needs to be heated, cooled or moved around will cost. So water heating, space heating or cooling, using an iron or kettle will tend to be intensive in comparison with something like lights or a radio.
posted by biffa at 3:13 AM on September 19, 2008

It is costing you, and how much has to do with how expensive electricity is in your area and how wasteful your habits are. Driving inefficiently - jackrabbit starts, wasteful braking, etc., can decrease mileage as much as 10%. When it costs me $40 to fill the tank, it's a good reminder to drive more efficiently. Frugal habits like turning off lights, closing the door, etc., save something, so they're good habits to develop. And keep in mind that when you're frugal, you save after-tax dollars. Plus, sometimes, when I tell my kid to shut the door so we don't heat the outdoors, it's a pleasant reminder of my Dad.
posted by theora55 at 7:13 AM on September 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies!

And don't worry, I'm pretty good with remembering to turn things off, I don't want to kill the Earth any faster than it's already happening =\

YARRR Don't forget it be talk like a pirrrrate day! =)
posted by KateHasQuestions at 7:44 AM on September 19, 2008

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