Does an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Increase My Electric Bill?

Many people use an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, as a backup for computer systems or data centers. These power supplies make sure that any outage in electricity does not harm or take down the computer systems. While they protect our electronics, they also use power themselves which may raise the concern that they might boost your electric bill. 

So, does a UPS increase my electric bill? Yes, in most cases, the bill will only be slightly higher because of how energy efficient most UPS systems are. It’s common for UPS to only use between 3 to 10W per hour, depending on their size. This tends to cost just a few extra cents per day in the United States. 

When you install a UPS, it will consume extra electricity. Before you pick one, you should have a rough idea of how much it is going to cost you. To help you do this, let’s take a closer look at some of the things that will impact the costs associated with running a UPS system. 

How Much Power Does A UPS Need? 

The first thing that we need to figure out is how much power a UPS needs. There are a few things that will determine how much electricity it will consume. First, the size of the battery and whether or not it’s fully charged. Secondly, you’ll need to think about how energy efficient the UPS is. You’ll also need to think about how much you pay for your electricity. 

To understand how much a UPS is going to cost to run, we need to understand how this technology works. The purpose of a UPS is to make sure that you’re protected from a power surge or a loss of electricity. The UPS does this by having a large battery. When the main power is disconnected, the UPS switches to back-up battery power. How much battery charge the UPS will be able to hold can vary. Often, the bigger the UPS, the larger the battery will be. 

To charge up the battery, the UPS will take a little extra power from the mains. This is when the costs per hour will increase. How much extra power the UPS will take will depend on the size of the battery. For example, imagine that you have a 12V battery. It will take around 1,200 watts to charge it up fully. This translates to about 0.14 cents. The bigger the battery, the more watts you’ll need to charge it. 

The next thing that you need to consider is how energy efficient the UPS is. Most UPS systems that are for home use are about half the size of a computer tower and do not need much power to sustain their charge. They tend to be extremely energy efficient, usually having a rating between 92% and 95%. In most cases, with a fully charged battery, this translates to just 3-10 watts per hour. This makes their effect on your electric bill almost unnoticeable.

The next thing that you’ll need to think about is how much your electricity costs. This is one of the most important factors that will determine how much it will cost you to pay for the UPS. The average American uses around 877 kWh of power each month. The average cost of electricity is 12 cents per kWh. As a result, the average American pays 105.24 dollars per month for their electricity. As we’ve seen, there are a few factors that determine how much you’ll need to pay to run a UPS. Let’s take a closer look at some specific models, to get a better idea of how much you will need to pay. 

How Much Does A Small UPS Cost in Your Electricity Bill? 

Let’s start by looking at how much it will cost you to run a small UPS. There are several smaller UPS models on the market. They can start with a 12 Volt battery. In this case, it will take around 1.2 kW to charge up, costing around 14 cents. From there, it will take about 3-6 watts per hour to maintain the charge. Bearing in mind that the average price of a kW (1000 watts) is 12 cents, you can see how little impact this will make on your daily electricity expenses.

There are plenty of options to consider if you’re looking for a small UPS. For example, you might want to get a Poweshield PSD650. You might also want to think about getting a CyberPower Systems BR1000ELCD BRIC Line. Both of these have a 12 Volt battery. As we mentioned earlier, this will cost an average of 14 cents to get fully charged. 

It should be noted that these are designed to be used in short-term power loss events. Often, they will only have enough charge to power a device for a few minutes. In many cases, they can provide between 300-500 watts. This should provide about 4-8 minutes of power, depending on the type of appliances that you are running. However, they are more affordable to purchase and run. In most cases, you’ll be able to get a small UPS for under $200. 

How Much Does A Medium UPS Cost in Your Electricity Bill

If you want something a little more substantial, you might want to think about a medium-sized UPS. In this case, they will often come equipped with two 12 volt batteries. This will take about 2.4 kW to charge, costing 28 cents. It will take about 4-7 cents per day to maintain this charge. 

A medium UPS is roughly double the size of a small one. Because it has a larger battery, it will cost double to fully charge it. In this case, it will be about 28 cents. However, this will vary, depending on the exact size of the UPS. 

There are a few excellent examples of medium-sized models for you to look at. For example, the Tripp Lite 1500VA 900W, which runs on two 12V batteries. You might also want to consider the CyberPower Systems CP1300EPFCLCD, which has a 95% power efficiency. These will last you a little longer during a blackout. Typically, this can be around 30 minutes to an hour of power, depending on the type of appliances you are using. You should be able to find a good medium-sized model for under $800. 

How Much Does A Large UPS Cost in Your Electricity Bill

If you’re looking for a large UPS, the costs can vary significantly. For bigger models, the running costs can vary greatly. You may need to pay between $2-$20 a month. However, they will store a lot more battery charge and have been designed to power larger devices, like servers. 

There is a lot of competition for the higher end UPS models. In this case, they tend to be designed for business purposes. They need to have enough charge to keep energy-intensive devices online for a long time. As a result, they will need to have a large battery capacity. This can mean it will take more electricity to fully charge the battery and higher costs to maintain the charge. 

Also, at the upper end, you might need to pay to have the machine custom-designed for your workplace. This increases the purchasing costs. These factors make it hard to come up with an estimate of how much it will cost to run. Generally, though you can expect somewhere between $2-20 per month. 

Final Thoughts

A UPS is a great insurance policy. You’ll be able to use it to make sure that you are protected if you run out of power or get hit by a surge. The costs to run will depend on three key factors. First, the size of the battery. Second, how energy efficient it is. Third, the amount you pay per kWh for electricity. Knowing this should give you a rough estimate of how much it costs to run. For most small and medium-sized machines, you won’t be paying more than $1-$2 per month. 

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