Energy Use Basics

Kilowatts & Kilowatt-Hours

What is the difference between kW and kWh?

  • A kilowatt (kW) measures the rate of energy use, or how much energy it takes for an appliance to operate.
    • A kilowatt is equivalent to 1,000 watts.
  • A kilowatt hour (kWh) measures the amount of energy consumed.

Energy Usage Examples

  • If you watch a 100-watt (0.1 kW) big-screen TV for one hour, you consume 0.1 kWh of energy.
  • If you run a 1 kW vacuum cleaner for one hour, you consume 1 kWh of energy.
  • If you run a 2 kW electric clothes dryer for one hour, you consume 2 kWh of energy.

Heartland’s Peak Savers rate is based on both the rate of energy use (kW) and the amount of energy consumed (kWh).

Heartland’s Time of Use and Time of Use EV rates are based only on the amount of energy consumed (kWh), although energy costs vary by time of day.

Appliance Energy Use

How much energy do typical appliances use?

The following chart shows the rate of energy used by some typical household appliances.

Big screen TV: 0.1 kW; vacuum cleaner: 0.5 kW; refigerator: 0.24 kW to 0.75 kW; coffee maker: 1 kW; Iron: 1 kW; Pool Pump: 1 kW; Toaster: 1.2 kW; Microwave; 0.8 kW to 1.5 kW; Dishwasher: 1.2 kW to 2.4 kW

Reduce Energy Usage During Peak Hours

Here are some practical things you can do to reduce your usage during peak times:

  • Cook dinner using a grill or a countertop appliance such as an air fryer, instant pot, or crock pot.
  • Load the electric clothes dryer, but wait to run it until after 8 p.m.
  • Load the dishwasher, but wait to run it until after 8 p.m.
  • Pre-cool your home by running your air conditioner until the peak time starts at 3 p.m.
  • If you have an electric water heater, avoid using a lot of hot water between 3 and 8 p.m.
  • Avoid running your pool pump from 3 to 8 p.m.
  • For those with electric vehicles, wait to charge them until after 8 p.m.