August 26, 2008

Saving \$8 a year with my lawn mower

The high price of gasoline has hit us all at the pump. Today's average price is \$3.69 and just a month ago it was over \$4. Another place we use gasoline is with our lawnmowers. You can save money by using an electric lawn mower instead of a gas powered one.

"An efficient gas mower will use ¼ of a gallon of gasoline per hour." So that means that a half hour mowing job like my lawn will take 1/8 gallon of gas per mow. I have to mow the lawn half the year where I live so thats about 25 mows per year. If I were using a gas mower that would equate to 3.125 gallons of gas per year to mow the lawn. At an average cost of \$3 per gallon that is \$9.37 per year in gas costs for an efficient gas mower.

My electric mower is a 1000W model. So I'm using 1000 W x 0.5 hours or 0.5 kWh per mow. With 25 mows a year thats 12.5 kWh per year. My electricity costs \$0.09 kWh so this means I'm spending \$1.125 per year in electricity to mow my lawn with my electric mower.

So by using an electric mower I'm saving over \$8 a year on gasoline

TO keep this practical you'll have to have a relatively small lawn that can be handled by an electric mower. Also the cost of the electric mower shouldn't be significantly higher than the gas version.

1. You forgot the cost of replacing the batteries in the electric every few years! At \$80 every 4 years or less, that's \$20 per year! You just LOST \$12 per year with your electric. And if you have to drive somewhere to get the special batteries you have to add the cost of that gas too!

2. There is no battery in an electric mower unless its a cordless rechargeable style. The cordless ones are actually pretty expensive compared to corded. So if you're trying to save money you ought to buy a mower with a cord. The cord is a bit less convenient but really no worse than using a vacuum cleaner in your home.

And I'd expect the rechargeable battery to last longer.

Black and Decker says:
"On average, the useful life of an 36V NiCd battery is 150-200 full charge cycles "
If you mow weekly 6 months out of the year then that should give you 6-8 years.

ref:
http://www.blackanddecker.com/pages/promotions/promo36voltCordlessMower/promoMowerBattery.aspx

Jim

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