Tuesday, February 27, 2007

$24 billion utility bill - What a gaffe!

Recently, I heard about residents in Weatherford, Texas who were handled huge bills, ranging in the billions (Story here). The man in the story reported he was charged $24 billion for that month's electricity. After seeing this story, I set out to see just how much electricity that would be.

So lets consider it by the hour:

There are 30 days in a month, times 24 hours in a day, which is 720 hours.
That's about $30.5 million in electricity per hour.
I researched the cost of a Kilowatt-Hour (kWh) and discovered it was around 10 cents per kWh.

So we're talk about 305 million kWhs. But that number is too big to mean anything. I found a great page for household appliance's energy usage (link), but the energy usage from that is too small.

A typical fast car has about 350 horsepower (HP) which is about 261 kilowatts of power. So running that same engine for an hour, we obtain 261 kWh. So using this comparison, this man in Texas was consuming the same amount of electrical power as that generated by 1.5 million sports cars in the span of an hour.

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