 # What do watt and kWh mean?

The difference is quite simple, but many people muddle them up.

### Watts (W)

A watt (W) is a unit of measurement of power. Watts therefore refer to the power of your device.

Examples:

• an incandescent lamp has a power of 60 W
• your microwave oven has a maximum power of 900 W

The watt, as its many variations – kilowatt, megawatt, etc. – measures the electrical power of a device, whether it is a motor, a machine or the heating capacity of a boiler or wood stove. Today, this information appears on the technical descriptions for all electrical appliances.

The more powerful a device is, the higher the number of watts.

 Variations on watts: 1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 watts (W) 1 megawatt (MW) = 1,000 kilowatts (kW) 1 gigawatt (GW) = 1,000 megawatts (MW)

### Kilowatt hours (kWh)

A kilowatt hour (kWh) is a unit of measurement of energy. A kilowatt hour therefore refers to the consumption of your device.

1 kilowatt hour (kWh) is the energy consumed by a 1,000-watt or 1-kilowatt electrical appliance operating for 1 hour.

Examples:

• a 60 W lamp that burns for one hour will have consumed 60 Wh or 0.06 kWh
• a 900 W microwave oven that runs for 5 minutes will have consumed 75Wh or 0.075 kWh
 Variations on kilowatt hours: 1 kilowatt hour (kWh) = 1,000 watt hours (Wh) 1 megawatt hour (MWh) = 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) 1 gigawatt hour (GWh) = 1,000 megawatt hours (MWh)
Did you know...
The watt and the kilowatt hour owe their name to James Watt, a Scottish engineer born in 1736 who invented the steam engine.