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What Are Kilowatts And How Do They Work?

What Are Kilowatts And How Do They Work?


How much do you understand about your electricity bill? You’re charged per kWh for electricity, but even though most people see that terminology monthly, most don’t know what it really means. So, what in the watt are they talking about?

What does kWh mean?

A kWh stands for kilowatt Hour, and you see it on your electricity bill because it’s a unit of energy that measures how much electricity you have used.

To break it down, kilo means 1,000, watt is a measure of power, and h is for hour. Therefore, a kilowatt Hour (kWh) means that 1,000 watts are used in an hour.

On your home bill, you’ll see kWh. However, places that use huge amounts of energy, such as power plants, might have megawatts (MW) which are 1,000 kilowatts, or gigawatts (GW) which are 1,000 megawatts on their bill.

Your home will have an electric metre, and the utility company you use will use this to measure your electrical energy usage. Your bill will then reflect how many kWhs were used according to what the metre tells them.

What is the difference between kW and kWh?

A kW is a measurement of power, and a kWh is a measure of energy. Still confused? Don’t worry. Many people get these two mixed up. After all, most people consider power and energy as the same thing.

Energy is used to do daily work – as humans, we use energy to walk somewhere or do something. We also use energy to get our cars working and heat our homes. Energy is measured in many ways, one of them being kWh.

Power, however, is the rate at which the energy is transferred. It can be a little to generate a little bit of energy, or a lot if you need to do something as powerful as power a motor vehicle.

kW, therefore, refers to the rate at which energy is used at a particular moment, whereas kWh will measure the total amount of energy consumed over a period of time.

When it comes to solar, peak power defines a solar system’s size. e.g. a 3kW system can produce 3kW of power when the sun is at its strongest on a sunny day. So, if your solar panels continuously output 1kW of power for a whole hour, you will have produced 1kWh of energy – in other words, the amount of electricity you have used in that hour.

Why is it important to know the difference?

The more you understand about kW and kWh, the better. If you want to get on top of your electricity bill and make sure you’re getting the most out of it, it’s important to fully understand what these terms mean so you can break down exactly what you need out of your electrical systems. When it comes to solar, you might think you need a 12kW solar system, when what you really need is something that can cover an energy usage of 12kWh per day – which means you only need around a 3kW system. Knowing this can save you a huge amount of money.

At the end of the day, the more you know about kilowatts and how they work, the better you can understand your own electricity bills. And the more you know, the quicker you can get them down.

Fun fact: Watt is named after James Watt, a Scottish inventor who was responsible for many improvements to the steam engine during the Industrial Revolution.

Keeping Properties Powered

At Tropical Solar and Electrical Services, we keep properties powered—whether inside or on the roof! Installations, repairs, maintenance—we provide it all using state-of-the-art tools and equipment. Best of all, our rates are highly competitive.

With electricity prices on the rise, having a reliable electrician/solar installer on standby is a must. Call us today on 0474 862 794 to get acquainted. Our service areas include Mackay, Moranbah, Sarina, Proserpine, and Rockhampton.

Let’s increase the value of your home together!

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