Electricity Saving Tips For Homes And Offices

What are Watt, Kilowatt and a unit of electricity

By on July 29, 2015

Hindi Translation: वाट, किलोवाट और बिजली की अन्य इकाइयां (यूनिट्स) क्या होती हैं ?

When we get our electricity bills, it shows that we have used a certain number of units for the given period. When we go to buy appliances, most of them have watts mentioned on them. If you find it difficult to understand the relation between the two, then you are not alone. Electricity bill and its components are confusing to many and with this article we will try to explain what are watt, kilowatt and a unit of electricity.


Power and Energy/Electricity

Power and Energy/Electricity are two words that are used so much for each other that many feel that they mean the same. Interestingly both of them have a very different meaning. Power is the rate at which electricity is used and energy/electricity is the actual consumption. To give an analogy, power is similar to speed but electricity/energy is the actual distance travelled.

So        Power x Time = Electricity (or energy)

Just like          Speed x Time = Distance Travelled.

Power and its units

Power is always represented in watt (W) or kilowatt (kW). A thousand (1000) watts make one kilowatt. So if any appliance is rated as 1.2 kW then it means that it consumes electricity at a rate of 1200 W. Now as we discussed earlier that power is the rate at which electricity is consumed and not the actual electricity consumed, Watt or Kilowatt just represent the rate at which electricity is consumed per hour. Which means that when you buy a 100 W bulb, it does not consume 100 units of electricity but consumes at a rate of 100 W.

Energy/Electricity and its units

A unit (as mentioned on the electricity bills) is represented in kWH or Kilowatt Hour. This is the actual electricity or energy used. If you use 1000 Watts or 1 Kilowatt of power for 1 hour then you consume 1 unit or 1 Kilowatt-Hour (kWH) of electricity. So the reading on the electricity meter represents the actual electricity used. Just like the odometer on your vehicle that shows the actual distance travelled by the vehicle, electricity meter shows the amount of electricity that is used. So a 100-Watt bulb if kept on for 10 hours will consume:

100 x 10 = 1000 Watt-Hour = 1 Kilowatt-Hour (kWH) = 1 units (on your meter).

Estimating units consumed by any appliance

Now with most of the concepts explained we would like to make it easy for you to calculate how much units does any appliance consume. Most appliances have wattage written on them (either on their container box or somewhere on the appliance). Once you have the wattage, next you need to figure out how many hours a day do you use it. After that you can use the formula below:

Daily Units = (Wattage x Usage hours per day) ÷ 1000

Monthly Units = Units x 30 (or 28,29,31 based on month)

Please note that this formula may not work always. For appliances like Air Conditioner, Water Heater, Cloth Iron (any heating or cooling device) and pumps, this will not work.Infographic3

Check this video to make it easier to understand:

Source of Information:



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103 Comments on "What are Watt, Kilowatt and a unit of electricity"

If you have any question or comment, please leave a message here. We try to reply to questions in the sequence they come in. We work from Monday-Friday 10AM-7PM. If we know the answer we try to reply to the question within 3 days.

Today 10:37 am

What would be the cost of using an electric oven for 1 hr if the cost of unit is ₹8?

Manoj Sinha
July 31, 2015

Inverter continue contacted with electric.
Is it increase meter reading.

Sunil Thakar
July 28, 2015

Trimming Beard at home is ECONOMICAL or one should go to salon

Viral Jain
August 1, 2015

I have Philips Trimmer using at home and Salon charges Rs. 30 for trimming beard then which one is economical ?

Viral Jain
July 28, 2015

Sir Whether iron (Non Steam) my clothes at home or should i give it to presswala Which one is Economical ???

Viral Jain
August 1, 2015

He Charges Rs. 4 Per Cloth and Rs. 10 per Saree then what to do ?

July 20, 2015

I am using desktop with LCD SCREEN, D-LINK WIFI ROUTER and CISCO DPC 3008 CABLE MODEM. i want to know that how much electricity (units) consumed by both modem in a month?

July 15, 2015

Helo there,my last month meter shows 2017 kwh and this month it shows 4114 kwh so what is the unit i have consumed and how much do i have to pay if per unit is 8Rs.
please help.
thank you

July 17, 2015

Wow!!!i have to pay rs 16776 just for using 2 fans?
I don’t know whether i have given you the right kwh or not because i am not femelier with the meter.
anyway in my digital meter this was the numbers shown last month 2017 and for this month 4117.the above numbers are the only numbers shown in the meter so i hope you are geting the picture of what im saying now..
please help

Yogesh J Ingle
July 3, 2015

I like to know how can I increse the Pv cell efficiency using electronics components or devices?

vinay kumar
June 24, 2015

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June 22, 2015

Sir residential area m 2 kw meter kliye e unit charge kya h gzb shastrinagar m meri unit 300 to 500 k between rehti h

gaja nand garg
June 22, 2015

sir, there is server consuming 2540 watt , runs round the clock. How many units it will consume in a month.