What’s the difference between energy and power?

By Michael Rader on May 22, 2019

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are two different parts of our electricity system. Energy is what the electrical loads in your home consume over time in order to operate. It is measured in Watt-hours (Wh). A thousand watt-hours equals one kilowatt-hour (kWh). It’s the total amount of (electrical) work that can be done, and it’s what we pay for every month on our electric bills.

Power, on the other hand, is instantaneous and measured in watts (W). One thousand watts equals one kilowatt (kW). It’s the ability to do (electrical) work in a given moment. For example, if you took a cup of tea and placed it in a 1000-watt microwave for two minutes it would be just as hot as if you’d placed it in a 2000-watt microwave for one minute. Each time you used the same amount of energy (kWh) to heat the tea.