What is a kilowatt and kilowatt hour (kW vs. kWh)?

The kW and kWh are two concepts that intervene in your bill and make up the price for energy. The kW determines the contracted power and the fixed term you pay for electricity. While the kWh will be the indicator of the energy consumed for electricity and will determine the price you pay for your consumption.

What is a kW of electricity?

The kW (kilowatt) is a unit of measurement used to quantify the electrical power of light that supports the building. The unit used to measure is the watt (W), so one kilowatt is equivalent to 1,000W (1,000W = 1 kW).

In electrical supplies, the kW is used to indicate the maximum power that a household can support, just as household appliances indicate in their technical data sheet the amount of W they need to operate.

Therefore, the kW in the electrical supply of a home will indicate the speed at which energy is consumed, that is, the amount of energy that passes through the conductive elements at a given time, so it defines the number of appliances that can be connected at the same time.

For example, a domestic steam iron needs between 2,200 and 2,400 watts to work properly while a two-person house without electric heating needs an electrical power of 3.45 kW to support the electricity needed by the appliances in that home.

1 megawatt (MW) = 1,000 kilowatts (kW), or the power used by the average microwave oven

1 megawatt-hour (MWh) = 1 MW for one hour or 1,000 kW for one hour.

What is a kWh?

The kWh is a unit of measurement used to account for electricity consumption over a period of time. The kWh measures energy consumption in kilowatt hours.

1 watt is equivalent to consuming 1 joule for 1 second. Therefore, 1 kW represents the consumption of 1,000 Joules for 1 second. For example, a device that consumes 1 kW and is on for 1 hour, will consume a total of 3,600,000 Joules. This is equivalent to saying that it has spent 1 kWh (kilowatt hour) of energy.

kWh is currently used in the energy sector to invoice the electricity or gas consumption of consumers.

On the electricity bill, this value is indicated as a “variable term”, “consumption term” or “energy term”, depending on what the supplier with which the user has contracted the supply calls it.

How are the kWh consumed in a property measured?

The amount of kWh that has been spent on a property are counted in the electricity meter. This measurement system registers the amount of electricity used and sends it automatically to the distributor company then it proceeds to calculate the price established and sends it to the supplier company for billing.

On rare occasions, the company may not be able to read the meter. In these cases, the user himself will be in charge of resolving the misunderstanding and sending the reading of the meter to the distributor.

Difference between kW and kWh

While kW is the amount of power that the property can demand at a given time, kWh is the amount of energy consumed over a period of time.

  • Indicates the amount of watts that a building can support at the same time.
  • Establish the amount for the contracted power to be paid in your bill.
  • On the bill it is called “power term”.
  • It does not exist in the gas bill, it is replaced by the fixed term that depends on the access tariff.
  • Defines the amount of energy consumed
  • Set the amount for the energy consumed to be paid on your bill.
  • On the bill it is called “variable term”, “consumption term” or “energy term”.
  • The kWh has the same function on the gas bill as it does on the electricity bill.

Lastly, here is a link so you can directly register with your distributor online and monitor your consumption daily throughout the month, which can help in view of keeping usage as optimised as possible. You can see the name of your distributor on the bottom of the last page of your Energy Nordic bill:

Click here to register with e-distribucion

Click here to register with i-DE

Once registered with your distributor, as above, you will be able to monitor your consumption live and access historical data, day by day, hour by hour. If you have solar installed, you will also see the breakdown of your own production, consumed and sold back to the grid.

We stand by ‘The power of simplicity‘ always, so if you have any questions, please leave a comment below or give us a call and speak to one of our friendly energy experts in your language.

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