Price of Electricity

We are used to buying food by the kg, but how much does energy cost and how do different sources compare?

Figuring out the cost of domestic electricity is not as straightforward as looking at that for gasoline. Unlike gasoline, where all prices are rolled into the one we pay at the pump, electricity prices involve a daily charge for the infrastructure to bring it to your building. This basic charge is the same, regardless of how much electricity is used. Then there is a rate in $/kWh. A kWh is 0.0036 GJ.

The author’s dwelling in Vancouver, B.C. is heated by natural gas, so electricity charges remain fairly constant all years around. The latest bill (mid-September 2019) is shown in Fig. 1.

Fig.1. The author’s electricity bill for September 2019.

Exercise: Put these numbers into a spreadsheet and determine the real cost of electricity, per GJ, for the authorโ€™s household.

Answer: $\$40$/GJ.


Created by CEW 2019-09-27