- Last Updated: April 6, 2010
What is a kilowatt hour?
Different types of energy are measured by different physical units: Barrels or gallons for petroleum, Cubic feet for natural gas, Tons for coal, and Kilowatt-hours for electricity
A kilowatt is a unit of power equal to 1000 watts. Wikpedia defines a watt as a “derived unit of power in the International System of units (SI), named after the 18th century Scottish engineer James Watt. The unit symbol for a watt is “W” and the unit symbol for a kilowatt is “kW”.
A kilowatt hour is the amount of energy you get from one kilowatt for one hour. Electricity use over time is measured in kilowatt hours . Your electric company measures how much electricity you use in kilowatt hours, abbreviated “kWh”. An example of what one kilowatt-hour can do is: 1200 electric shaves, dry your hair 15 times, 4 TV evenings, use a small refrigerator for 24 hours or 4 evenings of light with 60W incandescent lamps. This according to TreeHugger.com
How many kilowatts does an average U.S.home use?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2008, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,040 kWh, an average of 920 kilowatt hours per month. Tennessee had the highest annual consumption at 15,624 kWh and Maine the lowest at 6,252 kWh.