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Raspberry Pi Yearly Running Cost
29 Jan

Raspberry Pi Yearly Running Cost

I don’t know about you but I run a number or Raspberry Pi’s in my house all doing different jobs. I’ve often heard it said how inexpensive a Pi is to run but I never how inexpensive, and I wanted some real world figures.

After a little time with the good all Google I came across this form post by audigex from 2012 so I’ve used his calculations, just updated the figures.

In the same vane as audigex’s original post I’ve taken the worst case and a more average look. A Raspberry Pi uses 5W maximum, 5V x 1A = 5W, in theory but it should never go higher than 700mA which is only 3.5W.

I really had to search around but the most expensive unit price I could find at present, January 2015, was £0.24 per kWh. I won’t name and shame the company here, but believe me if you’re paying that much you will be hard pressed not to beat it!

Worst Case
Raspberry Pi Power (Watts) 5W
Hours to user 1kWh 200 h = 1000 / 5
Hours in year 8765.81 h
Raspberry Pi per year 43.83 kWh = 8765.81 / 200
Cost per kWh £0.24
Yearly Running Cost £10.52 = 43.83 * 0.24

For a more realistic look I down graded the total watt usage to 3.5W as discussed above and took the average unit cost straight off the UK Gov website, and The Department of Energy & Climate Change Quarterly Energy Prices published on the 18th December 2014. According to official Government statistics the average cost for a kWh unit is £0.15 pence, personally I’m paying slightly less than the average but the figure is still a valid one for this analysis.

Realistic Values
Raspberry Pi Power (Watts) 3.5W
Hours to user 1kWh 286 h = 1000 / 3.5
Hours in year 8765.81 h
Raspberry Pi per year 30.68 kWh = 8765.81 / 200
Cost per kWh £0.15
Yearly Running Cost £4.60 = 30.68 * 0.15

So based on, what I freely admit is back of the napkin math, a Raspberry Pi costs between £4.60 and £10.52 per year. Obvisoully this may be slightly higher if you are also running a USB hub or any external storage.

I hope this is of use to someone else. If you have noticed any flaws in my calculations please let me know in the comments bellow.