What’s the difference between kW and a kWh?

You’ve picked up your electricity and gas bills and for the better or worse you want to familiarize yourself with the specifics of your bill cost. You want to know what you have gotten yourself into. You’re asking yourself, “What am I looking at here, exactly?”

So, looking at your bill you might feel like you are staring at an ancient papyrus and can’t for the life of you figure out anything your provider threw on your bill except for the total cost. But in all honesty, all you need to know is the distinction between a kW and a kWh for the puzzle to fall in place pretty quickly.


Well, don’t be confused. We’ll clear that up in a moment. The symbol kW stands for kilowatt, while kWh stands for kilowatt-hour.

Besides visiting our energy jargon post, follow up on this article to find out what’s the difference between a kW and a kWh, which will in return help you get a quick understanding of the numbers on your bill enabling you to efficiently read your energy bills in the future.

Kilowatt vs Kilowatt-hour

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) and a kilowatt (kW) may seem like something very similar, but the significant distinction among kWh and kW is that a kWh is a measurement of how much energy your household is using, while a kW denotes the rate at which you are using energy.

So, if we are to speak technically, the difference between kW versus kWh is that a kWh is a calculation of energy, while a kW is a calculation of intensity i.e. power, yet the terms power and energy are frequently used as one and the same (which they are not). In reality, energy alludes to the single capacity of and object to do work, and power alludes to the pace of energy creation or utilization by that object.

Every household has a meter installed. That meter records your energy usage in kWh and shares that information with your provider so they know how much to charge you, based on your daily energy consumption.

Ultimately, by being able to read your bills more accurately with the help of our brief explanation on kW and kWh, you can cut down on bill costs by understanding how to manage your electricity and gas usage.

Furthermore, by knowing the difference between a kW and a kWh, you will be able to better tell the difference between certain providers’ plans and if they offer a good enough deal for you,  in case you were thinking about switching suppliers.


Author: Cyril Spasof
Cyril Spasof is ElectricityComparison.com.au's resident energy contributor. Cyril is a founding member of the team.