What’s a Watt?

When you look at your electric bill, do you know what you’re paying for and why? Maybe you’ve noticed the charges on your bill are calculated based on the number of kWh used. Do you know what kWh means and why it matters? It’s actually pretty simple.

Here’s what kWh stands for:

Simply put, a watt is a unit of power. A kilowatt hour, or kWh, is the amount of energy used in one hour. An average 1,000-watt vacuum cleaner needs 1,000 units of power to work. So, if you use your vacuum for one hour of time you will be charged for one kWh.

“Watt” do you know about watts?

Put your watt knowledge to the test and find out which household appliances and electronics consume the most watts.


One watt is a small amount of power, so when you add up all devices and appliances in your home, the number of watts is listed on your bill in kilowatts (or 1,000-watt quantities).When you add in how long an electric device is in use – like a lightbulb or your TV – that becomes a measure of energy used over time. So, you can see that the longer or more frequently an item is in use, the more energy it will consume. For example, a lightbulb left on all day will use more kWh of energy than one that’s turned off after two hours.

Your bill is calculated in total kWh used for the month multiplied by the dollar rate per portion of kWh.

Now that you’ve learned how much energy different appliances use, you can make smarter choices about how long and often they run in order to conserve energy. Another great way to save money on your electric bills is to upgrade your appliances.


Switching to energy-efficient devices and appliances can make a big difference in your energy consumption. For example, changing out one 60-watt incandescent lightbulb with an equivalent LED bulb will save you more than 50 watts. One of the biggest energy users is the process of heating water, so switching to an efficient hot water heater like a heat pump water heater can lower your bills. And when it comes to getting the right upgrades, you can save money with Wattsmart® rebates on everything from appliances to smart accessories.

In addition to saving money, another great reason to upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and equipment is all the extra benefits they provide.

Now that you know what a watt is and how to gauge your kWh energy usage, you can make changes to manage your electric bill.

Where does the funding come from rebates? You! As an energy consumer, rebate funding is built into your bill. So take advantage of the rebates available to you today!

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