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Electricity and How It’s Measured

We use electrical energy to power numerous devices and equipment in our homes each day. To understand how domestic power consumption is measured, some basic information on electricity streaming into our homes is helpful.

For power to work for us, it should constantly finish a circuit.

The power generated for consumers streams in from one of two 120-volt wires and pulls out through a grounded neutral wire. Any imperfection in the wire to and from these focuses will compromise the electrical circuit.

Knowing how the power streams into your home, how it’s associated and circulated gives you a better understanding of issues if they happen.

Electrical Usage Is Measured in Kilowatt Hours

Electric utilities measure a customer’s consumption of power with meters installed outside their property. Your electric meter records power utilization in kilowatt-hours; power consumption of smaller devices is measured in Watts and larger devices in kilowatts (kW), or 1,000 Watts.

A watt is the result of the voltage and amperage (or flow) in an electrical circuit: 1-volt x 1 amp = 1 watt.  To quantify the actual energy used, it needs to include a component of time.

So, a Watthour is the energy of one Watt taken from an electric circuit for one hour while a kilowatt-hour (kWh) is one kilowatt consumed for one hour. Let’s say that you turn on a 100-watt light for 10 hours… the energy used is calculated as 100 watts x 10 = 1,000 watts (or 1 kilowatt-hour).

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