Oct.19, 2010 posted by Electricity 101 adminOctober 19, 2010
Pierre Guimond, President and Chief Executive Officer
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Sep.28, 2010 posted by Electricity 101 adminElectricity 101
What’s watt with electricity?
Electricity is the flow of electrical charge. It is a fundamental aspect of nature and one of the most widely used forms of energy. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed – it can only be transformed or converted from one form to another. Electricity is a “secondary energy source”, which means it is derived from the conversion of another, primary, source of energy such as hydro, natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear power, wind, solar or tidal power.
The basic unit of measure of electrical power is a watt. Because a watt is a fairly small unit, electricity is typically measured in 1000-watt units called kilowatts.
The capacity of an electricity generating station is typically measured in megawatts which is a million watts. A gigawatt is a billion watts and this is usually used to describe the total electrical capacity of a region or a country.
In order to measure the amount of energy consumed or produced over a period time, the power (watts) is multiplied by the number of hours it is being used.
For example a kilowatt hour (kWh) represents the use of one kilowatt of electricity for one hour. Put another way, it is the amount of electrical energy steadily transferred to an appliance in one hour by one kilowatt of power.
If you run your microwave for 10 minutes at 1,500 watts then you used 250 (Wh) watts per hour of energy.1
In fact your electricity bill is measured in kWh. It is sold in cents per KWh.
Using a real life example, recently the province of British Columbia announced that it was moving forward in building a dam on the Peace River. It is estimated that the dam will have a capacity of 900 megawatts and will produce 4,600 gigawatt hours of electricity each year which will power approximately 410,000 homes per year.
Morning energy statistics
The following table gives examples of the energy consumed in the use of some common household appliances in a morning. Of course each household may use different appliances differently, over different periods of time. As well, electricity prices vary across regions. This table is simply for illustrative purposes.
Cost and energy use of selected small home electrical appliances used in the morning
|Est. time used (morning)||Average wattage (W)||Daily energy use (kWh)||Yearly energy use (kWh)||Est. annual cost at ¢12/kWh|
|Regular lamp||1 hr||75||0.075||27.38||$3.29|
|Compact fluorescent||1 hr||19||0.019||6.94||$0.83|
|Microwave oven||2 min||1,200||0.040||14.60||$1.75|
|Clock radio||1 hr||4||0.004||1.46||$0.18|
|Hair dryer||5 min||1,200||0.100||36.50||$4.38|
|Small television||30 min||100||0.050||18.25||$2.19|
|Desktop computer||15 min||150||0.038||13.69||$1.64|
Note: Electricity prices vary based on region, time of year, the energy source and other factors.
Source: Average wattage of appliances data from BC Hydro, Power Smart Appliance & Lighting Calculator, https://www3a.bchydro.com/appcalc/pg1.asp