One recurrent complaint from electricity consumers is the issue of being billed way more than the electricity they actually use. While it’s true that the various DisCos in Nigeria still have a huge role to play in ensuring that customers meters are read properly and unmetered customers don’t get exploited through the estimated billing system, there still exists a lack of proper understanding of how customers can properly calculate electricity bills.

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So, let’s discuss some basic approaches to calculating your energy consumption which ultimately translates to your electricity bills.

- To calculate energy consumption costs, simply multiply the unit’s wattage by the number of hours you use to find the number of watt-hours consumed each day. For example, let’s say you use a 60-watt bulb for 6 hours per day. By multiplying the wattage by the number of hours used per day, we find that you are using 360 watt-hours per day.

60 watts X 6 hours = 360 watt-hours per day

2. Electricity is often measured in kilowatt hours. So the next step is to convert to Kilowatt hours. We know that 1 kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts, calculating how many kWh a particular device uses is as easy as dividing by 1,000.

360 watt-hours per day / 1000 = 0.36 kWh per day

3. Electricity bills come monthly so to find out how much that’s actually going to cost you on your electric bill, you ’ll have to take the equation a bit further by multiplying your daily usage by 30, 31, 29 or 28 days depending on the month in review. Let’s say you’re calculating for the month of April.

0.36 watt-hours per day X 30 days = 10.8kWh per month.

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4. Next, pull out your last electric bill and see how much you pay per kWh. This is depending on the Distribution zone you fall under as different DisCos have slightly varied tariffs. To check the electricity tariff of your DisCo click here.

For example, residential customers of AEDC (R2) pay about 25 Naira per kilowatt- hour. Hence by multiplying your electricity rate by the kWh per month that you calculated above, you can find out how much that single bulb is costing you in a month.

5. This will give you a rough estimate of how much your light bulb is costing you in electricity bills. So the average man that resides in Abuja who enjoys 3 hours of power each day with his light bulb on pays 270 Naira in electricity bills for each bulb monthly. If he has six of these bulbs, he will eventually spend 1,620 on electricity bills monthly.

Of course, you have other appliances in your apartments, but by simply repeating these steps for each individual appliance and by summing the resultant monthly usage up, you can obtain a fairly accurate assumption of your electricity bills.