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How Much Is a Kilowatt Hour?

People who are looking after their electricity costs (and their total household expenses in general) may want to know the cost of a kilowatt hour.

Kilowatt hour is the unit if electricity. It means 1,000 watts and is generally how much it would take to operate a 1,000 watt appliance for an hour. Therefore a lightbuld that has 100 watts would run for 10 hours before consuming the equivalent of 1 kilowatt, but a 5,000 watt machine would run only 12 minutes before consuming the same amount.

Electricity providers charge people according to the kilowatt hour. However, these rates are affected by a number of factors, and it is difficult to determine one set cost. For example, Hawaii has a high kilowatt cost at 16.34 cents, compared to 5.7 cents in Washington. This could be because, as an island with a smaller population, the cost of delivery and the level of profit margin required changes.

Cost of kilowatt hour can also be affected by a country’s economy level, or the process by which electricity is generated and then delivered to the constituents. It can also be affected by whether the country has an energy monopoly, or a centralized electricity provider, vs. multiple energy sectors.

Governments may also have different laws regarding the cost of electricity. Some will set a price ceiling, others will allow the energy providers to determine the rates. The price can also be affected by whether or not the energy provider is part of the public or private sector.

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