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What is a Kilowatt?


When you use electricity to power a 1000-watt vacuum for 1 hour, you use 1,000 watt-hours (1,000 Wh) of electricity! One thousand watt-hours equals 1 kWh. Your utility bill usually shows what you are charged for the kilowatt-hours you use. The average residential rate is 11.88 cents/kWh. A typical U.S. household consumes about 11,280 kWh per year, costing an average of $1,340 annually

This chart shows how much energy a typical appliance uses per year and its corresponding cost based on national averages. For example, a refrigerator/freezer uses almost five times the electricity the average television uses.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy 2014