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Essentially, an electrical load is anything that consumes electricity. In fact, from a technical point of view, an electrical load has a very specific definition: it is the part of a circuit that consumes electrical energy.

Technically, there are many different components in a circuit that can act as electrical loads. However, as a homeowner, you only need to focus on your appliances and applications: Your electrical load depends on any electrical application in your home—from lights to toasters to washing machines to electric vehicles.

Importantly, electrical load is a measure of power: how much electrical output is required to actually run any appliance in your home. However, the electrical load affects the energy you consume, i.e. how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you use each month, and this value emerges and determines your electricity bill.

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• First, if you're on an on-demand rate, your monthly bill depends on the maximum amount of electricity you need to get from the grid for an hour in a month. Therefore, calculating the electrical load of all your appliances can help you determine how high the demand bill you will see at the end of the month is likely to be. What's more, knowing how much power each appliance requires can help you determine which appliances to avoid turning on at the same time, reducing the magnitude of your demand charges. With careful planning, you can reduce your maximum monthly electricity needs and save money on demand-based electricity bills.
• Second, and more importantly for most homeowners in the country, the amount of electricity an appliance needs to run is directly related to the energy the appliance consumes, which ultimately affects your electricity bill. For example, if you turn on a TV with a 230-watt electrical load for 5 hours, it will consume 1,150 watt-hours, or just over 1 kilowatt-hour, which is the unit used to calculate utility bills. Understanding the important role certain power-consuming devices play in your monthly electricity usage can also help you reduce your electricity bill.