kW and kWh Explained

No doubt as you have started immersing yourself in the world of solar and energy, you have heard the phrase kilowatt (kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh) being used. Unfortunately these terms are often misused, or deemed interchangeable, when in fact although they make up the a similar element of energy, they aren’t the same. So lets start with the basics to help us understand what these phrases mean, and how they effect your solar.


What is the difference?

A kilowatt (kW) refers to the measure of power that is electrically generated at any particular moment. Using a simple example, if you had a 5kW system- it could, in the right conditions, be capable of outputting 5kW of energy at that given moment.

Whereas, a kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a measure of the energy produced instead of the power. Expanding on the same example, if these ideal solar conditions lasted for a full hour, and your 5kW system worked at maximum potential the whole time, then you will have produced 5kWh. This can be help explain why a 5kW system may only produce an average of 3kWh when experiencing average weather conditions.

So why is this useful?

As energy providers tend to bill you per kWh, if you are looking to reduce your energy dependency through solar, then understanding how much kWh’s you use will help you figure out how big of a system you might need. For this same reason, if you decide to arrange a consultation with one of our sales representatives, we ask you bring in a current electricity bill if available. This will allow us to assess how much energy you use, and work out with you what size system would be ideal to help cut down your energy costs.