The Power of a Kilowatt Hour

Before you can truly understand how much energy you’re using and how much electricity can cost you, it’s important to first understand how electricity is measured. 

Electricity is measured and charged by kilowatt hour (kWh), much like gasoline is measured and charged by the gallon. One kWh is equal to the power consumption of one thousand watts for one hour.

But, what does that look like in real terms? For example, one medium window air conditioning unit uses 1,000 watts per hour, which of course, is equivalent to one kWh. Additionally, a 100watt light bulb used for 10 hours is also equivalent to one kWh. 

Using the lightbulb example, here’s the calculation to find your total kilowatt hours used:

Wattage (100) x Hours used (10) / 1,000 = Kilowatt Hours Used (1kWh).

If you multiply your kWh hours used with your price per kWh, you can also find the cost of your electricity. 

The equation looks like this:

Wattage x Hours used / 1,000 x Price per kWh = Cost of Electricity

So, what can you do with just one single kWh? A lot. The infographic below has many examples. 

For more information on electricity pricing and other energy terms, visit the Direct Energy Business learn center.


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Infographic - The Power of a KWH

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