How to Convert kWh to kW

Power Vs Energy

A Watt is a unit of power whereas a Kilowatt is a unit of energy. Think of it in terms of food; a biscuit is the unit and the calories a measurement of the energy produced by the biscuit. Therefore the kWh (kilowatt) is a unit of energy. This unit of energy is used to measure that energy expenditure. A therm, for example, would measure the energy of heat. We need the measurements in order to be able to calculate cost, price, distance, weight and so on. It would be almost impossible to live in the modern day world without being able to calculate speed, distance, weight, cost etc.

Breaking it down

A kilowatt (kW) equates to one thousand watts, just like a kilogram equates to 1000 grams and a kilometre equates to 1000 metres. To work out a kWh you need the watts of the appliance or device and the amount of time the appliance or device was being used. So the sum would be to multiply the number of hours the appliance or device was being used with the watt of the appliance or device, in this simple example - a 100 watt light bulb burning for 10 hours would be: 100 (the wattage of the light bulb) x 10 (the number of hours it was on for) = 1,000 (and we know 1,000 equates to 1) so the light bulb burned 1 kWh.

Why the Conversion?

Measurements need to be made in order for bills to be produced, or in the case of you selling surplus energy back to the energy providers, you payments to be calculated. There are many websites that offer the ability to work out the kWh of many household appliances and devices. These calculators are an invaluable tool if you wish to breakdown the cost of running certain everyday appliances and devices. It's a bit of an eye-opener and is a great way to look at your own usage and to help you to reduce your carbon footprint.

How can I work out my usage?

In the UK 1 kWh would be shown on your bill as 1 unit. In the example we used above with the light bulb, that would be billed to you as 1 unit. The EU has brought out a labeling system that is clearly displayed on appliances in order for you to be able to see the energy expenditure of that appliance. The labeling grades equipment from A to G; A being the most efficient and G being the least. For example a washing machine will now clearly display the cost by kWh of a typical cycle and will grade the appliance overall from A to G.

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