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Home » KW Vs. KWH – Complete Guide 2023

KW Vs. KWH – Complete Guide 2023

Many people mistakenly believe that Kilowatt and Kilowatt-hour are the same. However, the truth is that they are completely different units of measurement. It’s easy to get confused as both represent units of measurement. To truly grasp the distinction, it’s essential to delve into the detailed differences between KW and KWh.

When reviewing your electric bill, you must have come across these terms but rarely paid attention to what KW and KWH actually mean. There is a lot to know when it comes to these units of measurement. 

Let’s dive deep into the topic and understand the basic difference between kilowatt and kilowatt-hour.


What is KW?

A kilowatt, often termed as KW, is a base unit for measuring electrical energy. All your home appliances run on energy consumed in kilowatts. It is the rate at which power is used to run electrical systems, turbines, and solar panels.

To put in perspective, 1 KW = 1000 Watt

Kilowatt is a widely used term for measuring electricity due to the sheer volume of power generated by appliances. For example, a typical household in India generates about 30 – 50 kilowatts of power capacity. However, it can vary significantly based on factors like the number of appliances, total residents, air conditioning, and the use of energy-efficient appliances.

The general rule of thumb is higher the kilowatt higher the energy needed to operate an electrical appliance. Here is an approximate range for power consumption of common home appliances:

1. Washing Machine

  • Top loading machine – 300 to 500 watts( 0.3 to 0.5 KW)
  • Front-loading machine – 200 to 500 watts( 0.2 to 0.5 KW)

2. Refrigerator

  • Energy efficient refrigerator – 100-400 watts( 0.1 to 0.4 KW)
  • Standard refrigerator – 100-800 watts(0.1 to 0.8 KW)

3. Lightbulbs

  • LED bulb – 6-12 watts( 0.006 to 0.008 KW)
  • Incandescent bulb – 40-100 watts( 0.04 to 0.1 KW)

4. Computer 

  • Desktop computer – 300 to 800 watts(0.3 to 0.8 KW)
  • Laptop computer – 20-100 watts(0.02 to 0.1 KW)

5. Television

  • Plasma TV – 100 to 500 watts(0.1 to 0.5 KW)
  • LCD/LED TV – 50-250 watts(0.05 to 0.25 KW)

6. Microwave Oven

  • 600 to 1200 watts(0.6 to 1.2 KW)

7. Dishwasher

  • Standard dishwasher – 1200 to 1500 watts(1.2 to 1.5 KW)

8. Air conditioner

  • Central air conditioning – 3000 to 5000 watts( 3-5 KW)
  • Window Unit – 1000 to 1500 watts( 1-1.5 KW)

These are estimated power attributes. The actual power consumption can vary. It depends on the model and the design of the appliance. There are energy-efficient models that generate less electricity and prevent wastage. Monitoring your power consumption and comparing KW Vs. KWH can help you make informed decisions. 

What is KWH?

KWH, full form: Kilowatt Hour, as the name suggests, measures the amount of electricity that an appliance uses in an hour. It depends on factors like the energy capacity of your appliances and the frequency of usage. It denotes the power in watts and the total time you use it.

Now that you know the basic definitions, let’s compare KW Vs. KWH.

KW Vs. KWH – The Main Difference

Without further ado, here is a complete comparison of KW Vs. KWH.

CriteriaKW(Kilowatt)KWH(Kilowatt Hour)
DefinitionThe basic unit of electric energy. It denotes the rate of energy consumed.It denotes the total energy consumed over a period of time.
RepresentationUnits of energy at any point in time.Energy consumed over a period of time( in hours).
Equivalent1 KW = 1000 Watts1 KWH = 1000 watt-hours
UseDescribes the capacity of electrical devices and appliances.Quantifies the total energy usage in electricity bills.
ExampleAn air conditioner consumes 3-5 KW(3000 to 5000 watts energy).A 1 KW appliance running for 5 hours will consume 5 kWh of energy
Billing systemNot used on electric billsUsed for calculating electricity cost on bills

If you are still confused, let’s put the comparison into context. To help you understand better, we’ll use solar power systems as an example.

KW Vs. KWH – Understanding Their Role in Solar Systems

If you’re thinking about investing in a solar system, then it’s important to take a pause and understand the two basic units of electricity- KW Vs. KWH. Take a look below:

Kilowatt in a Solar System

  • Kilowatt represents the capacity and energy potential of a solar system. It is the maximum amount of electric power that the solar panels can generate under optimal conditions.
  • This is important to determine the actual output of your solar system. For instance, a 5 KW power generator can produce 5 kilowatts of electricity if the sunlight is shining brightly.

Kilowatt-Hour in a Solar System

  • When deciding on proposals from multiple companies, it’s better to measure the actual energy production over time. Not all solar panels produce the same amount of power in a fixed time. KWH helps to measure the exact capacity of a solar system. 
  • It quantifies the total energy output of a solar system over a day, hour, month, or year. 
  • For example, if a system generates 5 KW of energy for 5 hours, then the total electric output will be 5*5 = 25 KWH.

To manage the performance and benefits of a solar power system, keep a checklist of the following factors and compare KW Vs. KWH:

1. Solar System Size – The size of a solar system is described in kilowatts. The size you choose will depend on your available space and energy needs.

2. Energy Production – Solar panels generate electricity during the daytime. And the energy is measured in Kilowatt hours. The KWH value tells us the exact output your system has produced in a given timeframe. This helps to put things into perspective and monitor your solar panel in an efficient way.

3. Total Consumption and Billing –  When you install a grid and the net meter, the total KWH your solar system generates can be used to offset the total energy consumption. You can earn extra credits on the same or decrease your electric bill based on the total kWh of energy you produce. This will allow you to understand KW VS. KWH in a better way.

Moving on, let’s go through the frequently asked questions of KW Vs. KWH.


 How many KW is 1 KWH?

1 KWH represents the power of 1 KIlowatt energy used in a single hour. You can say 1 Kilowatt-Hour = 1 Kilowatt * 1 Hour.

How to calculate an electricity bill?

Take into account your meter reading and determine the tariff rates accordingly. The rates vary from state to state and are fixed by the State Electricity Commission. 

It also depends on other factors like fuel prices, cost of electricity generation, etc. Subtract the previous reading from the current month’s reading and multiply it with the tariff rate per unit.

How many volts in 1 KW?

A total of 1000 volts are measured in 1 kilowatt. It is 1000 times the power of a kilowatt.

How many solar panels is 1 KW?

The size of a 1 Kilowatt solar system can vary depending on the number and the types of panels used in the system. However, on average, it will come around 4 – 6 solar panels.

How is solar KW measured?

The formula is multiplying the number of panels with the total wattage of the solar system. For example, 20 solar panels with 300 watts of power will generate 6 KW of energy.


To summarize, KW Vs. KWH are units of electricity measured in a specific context. The former denotes the total energy output while the latter represents the energy output in a specific time period. Both are equally important to monitor your electricity consumption and keep track of the energy consumed by your solar system.

If you’re new to sustainable energy investment or looking to take the first step towards a greener future, consider starting your journey with Sustvest today. We’re here to help you make the most of clean and renewable energy sources.