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What is a kilowatt-hour?

March 11, 2019 | Laura King-Homan | energy efficiency, how does that work

Your electricity usage is measured by kilowatt-hour, but do you know what that term means?

Any appliance or light bulb you purchase will have information regarding how much electricity it will consume when in use. For example, you may buy a 1,000-watt microwave or a 60-watt light bulb.

Using 1,000 watts of electricity for one hour equals 1 kilowatt-hour. All of the appliances and electronics in your home use electricity at different rates. For example, a ceiling fan, when in use, consumes 24 watts of electricity. A flatscreen TV consumes 270 watts, while your home’s air-conditioning unit consumes between 3,500 and 4,000 watts.

The fewer watts something uses, the longer it takes to use up a kilowatt hour. For example, a standard, incandescent light bulb uses 100 watts while a CFL light bulb uses between 23 and 30 watts. That means choosing a more efficient CFL bulb will bring an energy savings of 70 percent.

By paying attention to your home’s kilowatt usage and the efficiency of your appliances and lighting, you can reduce your energy consumption and save money.

For videos on this and other topics, check out our energy-efficiency video library.

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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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