What is a Kilowatt-Hour?; Watts to Kilowatts.

When you hear questions like “what is a kilowatt-hour?” or “how many hours is your home or business billed for”, what comes to your mind?

You may have probably not put much thought into it, but then, you might have heard of kilowatts or kilowatts-hours if you’ve ever taken a science class or looked at your energy bill.

Regardless of the category, you fall into, there is still a lot to learn about this metric. You may not even know that you can save money by learning what a kilowatt-hour is and how it is measured.

This awareness can assist you in keeping track of your energy consumption and lowering your monthly utility bill. To know more about “Kilowatt-Hour”, ensure to read this article to the end.

What Is A Kilowatt Hour?

What Is A Kilowatt-Hour_

Firstly, a kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a form of measurement for the quantity of energy you use. It doesn’t list the number of kilowatts you use every hour, despite the name.

One kilowatt-hour is the number of power you’ll use if you leave a 1,000-watt device running for an hour.

However, various devices require different amounts of energy. For instance, an alarm clock needs lesser energy than an electric kettle.

Furthermore, a kilowatt is a form of energy that has a lot of value in today’s society. It is the simplest form for calculating electrical energy in daily situations since many devices in your home use kilowatts of electricity.

Kilowatts are generated from watts (W), which is a form of measurement named after Scottish inventor James Watt.

Kilowatts are used more than watts because of the huge amount of energy that most appliances consume.

Plus, kilowatts are a suitable form of standard measurement, since watts are little. The situation is kind of similar to a kilogram which is used instead of a gram to calculate bigger items.

Above all, a kilowatt is one thousand times more efficient than a watt.

What Does kWp And kWh Mean?

What Does kWp And kWh Mean_

Both abbreviations look alike but their meaning is quite different. First, kWp refers to kilowatt peak. It is a ranking for electrical components that generally use solar, hydro, and completely renewable energy.

On the other hand, kWh is an acronym for kilowatt-hours. It is the total number of energy a system uses or produces.

Though it may look like it is a form of measurement, it is truly a unit of pure energy consumption.

Kilowatt-Hour vs Kilowatt

Kilowatt-Hour vs Kilowatt

When you are talking about energy consumption, it’s natural to get the words kilowatt(kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh) mixed up. The basic difference between kWh and kW is the standard measurement.

In layman’s terms, a kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy meanwhile a kilowatt is a rate of power. For clarity, energy is the capacity to do work while power is the volume in which something uses energy.

kWh is the standard measurement on your utility bill that shows the level of energy that your appliance will use for an hour.

For you to better understand how these two units work, let’s see a few cases of kW vs kWh in the context of high and low energy appliances or gadgets.

Lower Watts

For instance, if you are using a plasma TV that uses 100-watt, you’ll have to stream your popular shows for 10 hours to reach 1 kWh.

Higher Watts

For an appliance to reach 1 kWh, you’ll need to run a cloth drier which is 2,000-watt for 30 minutes.

Furthermore, if you often use high-wattage equipment in your home, the energy you use daily can quickly rise to 1 kWh.

Bear all of this in mind since energy providers normally charge per kWh for energy.

What Is A Kilowatt-Hour?

What Is A Kilowatt-Hour_

A kilowatt-hour is a standard measurement for the total energy your appliances use in kilowatts per hour. For example, you’ll use 1 kWh of energy when you clean your floors with a 1,000-watt vacuum cleaner.

The factors in your kilowatt-hour usage are in how many watts your device uses and how often you use it. Your monthly utility bill shows the wattage of your household appliances and the length of time you use them.

Furthermore, what you see on your energy bill and the differences between kWh and kW is that kW shows the amount at which you use electricity, while kWh shows the period of time you run it.

A kilowatt-hour of energy is equal to one kilowatt of power over one hour.

For example, an oven will use 1kWh in about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, a 100-watt light bulb will use 1kWh in 10 hours.

Finally, since it monitors performance, it explains how to use kWh to calculate your electric usage in your home or any other area.

How To Measure Kilowatt-Hours

How To Measure Kilowatt-Hours

Firstly, when you understand the differences between kilowatts and kilowatt-hours, you will be able to keep track and manage your power bills.

To calculate how much electricity time you use, jot down the watts so that you can measure how much kWh your device consumes.

Furthermore, don’t forget to divide your wattage by 1,000 to convert to kilowatt because one kilowatt gives you 1,000 watts.

In view of this, it is a standard of measurement you can use as a guideline. Also, kilowatt-hour shows the time frame it takes for a single-kilowatt device will to for an hour.

Understand kWh in the same manner that light-years are a standard of measurement that use two main set methods to access similarities for other items.

How Many Kilowatt Is In A Megawatt?

How Many Kilowatt Is In A Megawatt_

A thousand kilowatts equals one megawatt. You can use kilowatt-hours to calculate usage, you can also measure energy usage in megawatt-hours (MWh).

Nevertheless, MWh is commonly used to show large-scale consumption. It is used to show the rate of power a town, or a huge building, rather than a single-family home or apartment consumes.

How Many Kilowatts Are In A Gigawatt?

How Many Kilowatts Are In A Gigawatt_

A gigawatt consists of one million kilowatts (gW). Simply put, a gigawatt is one billion watts.

Generally, it is only used to represent very huge regions of power usage since it is a high quantity.

Also, energy production is normally measured in mW rather than gW. If you are curious, you can convert megawatts to gigawatts when you use a conversion table.

This is a complex issue to answer because a kilowatt-hour is not the same as a kilowatt. It is a tool for measuring how much energy you consume.

Although it doesn’t connect to the number of kilowatts you are using in an hour, it does infer that a kWh consists of the same number of watts.

The reason is that the calculation shows the number of power it will consume if you leave a one-watt appliance running for an hour.

Conversion Of Watts Into Kilowatts

Conversion Of Watts Into Kilowatts

To convert from watts to kilowatts, simply multiply the number of watts by 1,000.

For example, when you divide 120W by 1000, the result is 0.12kW. To convert from kilowatts to watts, multiply the number of kilowatts by 1,000.

Going by this calculation, a 40 kW will become 40,000W.

Kilowatt Usage Rates

Kilowatt Usage Rates

Typically, kilowatt usage rates are different depending on who you are.

It has a lot to do with an individual’s actions, like whether the household performs energy transformation on a daily basis and whether energy-efficient appliances are present.

Energy consumption differs because of environmental situations since homes in cold regions will use more kWh to heat their homes (if they have electric heating). Meanwhile, those in warmer regions will use more energy working air conditioning units.

The Average Household Electricity Consumption In Kwh Per Month

The Average Household Electricity Consumption In Kwh Per Month

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average American home uses about 30 kWh on a daily basis.

As a result, the average American household consumes 877 kWh each month. Given the country’s geographical diversity, this is the national average.

Some particular places use more or less energy than others. Louisana residents use the highest electricity per family in the country, which is an average of 1,240 kWh per household.

Hawaii residents use the least amount of power per month, averaging 505 kWh per family.

How Can I Calculate The Consumption Of Electrical Appliances?

How Can I Calculate The Consumption Of Electrical Appliances_

Appliance wattage, device usage, and daily consumption are the three key factors to consider when you are calculating the rate of kWh energy your appliances consume.

There are three steps to calculate device wattage which is:

Firstly, to measure your watt-hours per day, multiply the number of watts by the number of hours you use daily.

Secondly, to measure the kilowatt-hours consumption of an appliance, multiply the Wh by 1,000. Wh/1000 = kWh.

Furthermore, to measure your total monthly usage, multiply your kilowatt-hours by the number of days in the month.

Finally, you can find usage over any duration of time by multiplying the kilowatt-hour number by a few days.

How Can I Figure Out How Many kWh I Am Using In Total?

How Can I Figure Out How Many kWh I Am Using In Total_

You can measure your overall monthly energy consumption by rounding up the daily usage of all your electrical devices to get your total monthly power usage in kilowatt-hour.

To make things easier for you, look at the average kWh total for each major and minor electrical appliance that you use and put the numbers together.

Most major brands of appliances’ will indicate their normal power consumption rate on their product packaging and websites. When you discover this, what’s left is for you to calculate how often you use the appliance.

You can get a good guess of how much energy you consume in total when you add together all the appliances in your home.

The Amount Of Kilowatt Hours That Will Charge A Tesla

The Amount Of Kilowatt Hours That Will Charge A Tesla

It is very essential for you to understand how Tesla batteries work before measuring how many kilowatt-hours it takes to charge one.

For it to work better, a Tesla is not always charged to full capacity. This is because the battery will last longer if you don’t charge it fully every day.

You can charge the batteries to capacity for a road journey, but it is not advisable to do it on a regular basis.

According to calculations, it takes around 50 kilowatts to charge a standard range Model 3 battery from zero to 90% full. Slow charging can be done in the home, but it will take a long time which is normally over half a day.

Plus, you must increase the wattage if you want to charge very fast. Superchargers give you about 75kW, which results in a reliable charging rate.

How Companies Measure Your Usage

How Companies Measure Your Usage

Energy suppliers use digital meters to calculate your kWh outside your home, where the power line reaches the building.

Meanwhile, traditional meters need an energy supplier to visit your home while modern digital meters have an electronic display that sends data to the energy provider via a high-frequency signal.

Monitor Your Electricity kWh

You can review your energy bill and start to monitor your energy usage now that you have a better understanding of kW versus kWh and the uses of electricity.

For a more detailed understanding, consider investing in a home energy monitor. Many monitors available today are wireless and display your home’s energy consumption in an app.

Depending on which monitor you choose, you may even be able to turn appliances on and off when you are away from home using the app.

Lower Your Energy Costs

You can lower your electricity bill by being energy conscious and by following some easy energy-saving practices. Replace incandescent lightbulbs with energy-saving LEDs and get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room.

Unplug or turn off appliances if you will be away from home for a few days and resist the urge to leave your devices on standby when you don’t need them.

Look into buying smart power bars for parts of your home with several electronic devices e.g entertainment center, office, etc. You can set a timer on a smart power bar so that it automatically turns off power to the devices overnight.

Some smart power bars also cut power to all devices once you turn a specific device off.

For instance, you could program a smart power bar to cut power to your sound system and television as soon as you turn your gaming console off.



We hope this article has given you a greater understanding of how to manage your energy. This article has also explained how your electricity bill is calculated and how it applies to you.

You can always get a smart meter to show you what you’re spending in terms of electricity costs.

At this point, I believe you can now differentiate kWh from your kW. With this knowledge, you can make positive changes to the way you use and save energy.

I hope you found it helpful, kindly share your thoughts with the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page.

Finally, to read more guides like this, visit our Electrical Accessories page.

Akpan Iniobong
Akpan Iniobong is a Technical Writer for PowerVersity.com. She has a B.A in Religious Studies. She loves hiking, reading, and socializing. In PowerVersity.com, she writes buying guides and product best picks.
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