Science Paper

Review your home electric bills from the last year. If you do not have an electric bill, ask a friend or family member if you can use his or hers.

  • UseMicrosoft Excel to create a bar graph of kilowatt hours used per month during the last year. Did you notice any significant increases over the year? Explain why these differences may have occurred (e.g., swimming pool pump, electric heater operation, etc.).
    • Use the following procedure to create a bar graph:
      • Open a new Excel spreadsheet.
      • Label three columns (A1, B1, and C1) “month” (using three-letter abbreviations), “kilowatt hours” (kWh), and “cost,” respectively.
      • Populate each field: A2 through A13 for the months, B2 through B13 for kilowatt hours, and C2 through C13 for cost.
      • In cell B14, use the formula “=SUM(B2:B13)” to calculate the total annual kilowatt hour usage. Follow a similar procedure to calculate total cost.
      • Click on the “insert” tab and select column charts to plot your data set.
      • Calculate the total number of watts used to illuminate your bathroom vanity lights for one hour/day and the number of watts you normally use in one year.
      • Determine the wattage of each light bulb.
      • Converts Watts to kW using 1 kilowatt = 1000 W.
      • Multiply the total kilowatts per day by 365 days.
  • Use your electric bill, and calculate the cost to keep your lights on in your master bathroom for one year (e.g., $.41 per kilowatt hour times the total number of kilowatt hours). How could you reduce your energy consumption using a dimmer, CFL, or LED bulb?
  • Identify any calculating tool on your local utility company website and record it in your laboratory notebook.
  • Record all your work and observations in your personal laboratory notebook.
  • Includea title page and the following sections in your final laboratory report:
    • Brief introduction
    • Materials and method
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Cited references
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