What exactly is one unit of electricity?
One of the best ways to save energy and money around the house is by simply understanding what it is that you're using. Here's some info on what exactly one unit is.
So what is electricity? Well, we’re not scientists here at JOE so we don't know, but we do know that the basic unit of electricity is the Kilowatt hour – kWh (but we only know that because we looked it up). Basically, 1 kWh is the amount of energy used by an electrical device (such as your kettle) that is rated at 1kW (or 1000 Watts) for 1 hour. However, just remember your device doesn’t necessarily have to be on for an hour to use up one whole unit of electricity.
Now that you know what 1kWh is you should go and check your electrical appliances around the house to see which ones are rated the highest. Why would I do such a thing, we hear you ask? Well, at least this way you’ll know what appliances use the most electricity and you can then control the amount you spend on electricity much more easily.
So what exactly will one unit of electricity buy you these days? Well there’s a handy chart over on the Electric Ireland website that spells out roughly what one unit of electricity get you - you can see the chart here.
For example, your electric shower is a bit of an electricity guzzler as it will use one unit of electricity in just 10 minutes, while a 20 watt energy saving CFL light bulb can be left on for upwards of 50 hours before it uses one unit. It’s crazy how much electricity some appliances use...
If you want a more personalised reading of how much your appliances are costing you then check out the Electric Ireland appliance calculator over here. It will open your eyes to the real cost of some or your appliances.
Check back next week when we take a look at what exactly is one unit of gas.