Calculate appliance running costs

Knowing how much your appliances costs to run can help you keep control of your energy bills.

Each of these points can reduce costs but combining them will help you achieve minimum running costs:

  • choose an appliance that has the lowest input power for your needs - use the energy rating label for larger appliances
  • operate the appliance for the shortest amount of time possible
  • use thermostat controls, settings or energy saving features
  • choose the best energy deal for your circumstances.

Finding the input power

An appliance’s input power is shown in:

  • watts (W) and kilowatts (kW)
  • Joules and megajoules (MJ)

The amounts are on the label or in the instruction manual. If the label shows a range, use the higher number to work out a maximum running cost.

Not all appliances run at full power all the time. Appliances with high and low settings or thermostats. For example, air conditioners or fridges.

Two appliance label examples. The first appliance shows 1850-2000W and the second appliance shows 1100-1200W.

A gas label example that shows the total nominal gas consumption of 40.9MJ/h.

Electrical appliance running cost calculator

This calculator uses a default price of 42 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Use the electricity tariff on your electricity bill for more accurate results - understanding bills.

In section 3, you will need to type:

  • the name of your appliance
  • input power in watts (1kW = 1000W)
  • the hours and minutes used per day.

Electrical appliance running cost calculator

1

What is the cost of your electricity (cents per kWh)?

If you're unsure, the calculator uses 42 cents as its default.

2

Find out the input power rating of your appliance in watts.

The input power (in watts or kilowatts) can usually be found on a label on the appliance or in its instruction manual.

3

Your appliances

List the details below for as many appliances as you would like.

Appliance

Power rating
(watts)

Usage per day
(hours / mins)

Daily
running cost

Quarterly
running cost

Usage per day

Manually calculating costs

Electrical appliances

StepAction Electrical appliance example

1

Find out the appliance's input power in W or kW

Label shows 2400W

2

convert input power to kW

Divide 2400W by 1,000 = 2.4kW

3

Check your bill for your energy tariff rate

If you're unsure, use 42 cents per kWh

 

Multiply the input power by the energy tariff

2.4 x 42 = 100.8 cents per hour

5

Multiply the hourly running cost by the number of hours per day you run the appliance

If the appliance is turned on 10 hours per day:

10 x100.8 cents = 1008 cents a day ($10.08)

Natural gas appliances

StepAction Gas appliance example

1

Find out the appliance's input power in J or MJ

Label shows 26MJ

2

Convert input power from J to MJ

Convert J to MJ by dividing by 1,000,000. In this case, no conversion is required

3

Check your bill for your energy tariff rate

If you're unsure, use 4 cents per MJ

4

Multiply the input power by the energy tariff

26 x 4 = 104 cents per hour

5

Multiply the hourly running cost by the number of hours per day you run the appliance.

If the appliance is turned on 10 hours per day:

10 x 104 cents = 1040 cents a day ($10.40)

LPG appliances

StepAction LPG cylinder example

1

Find out how much you pay to refill your LPG cylinder (ignore rental costs)

$122.25 to fill LPG cylinder

2

Divide the cost by how many kilograms (kg) the bottle weighs

For a 45kg bottle - 

$122.25/45kg = $2.72 per kg

3

Divide the cost per kg by 49.8.

$2.72/49.8 = $0.05 per MJ


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Page last updated 6 December 2023

Provided by:
Department for Energy and Mining
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/energy-and-environment/using-saving-energy/calculate-running-costs
Last Updated:
06/12/23
Printed on:
21/04/24
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2024
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