a kilo-what?

In California, company Gen110 decided to quiz people about fuel prices and electricity prices. These are the results:

This reveals the difference in awareness between electrical bills and fuel costs. Yet one can easily spend a similar amount of money on electricity and gas than on fuel.  So perhaps we should ask ourselves … What is a “kilowatt hour” anyway?
A Watt (also abbreviated as W) is a unit of power (just like the hp or horse power unit).  A small efficient lamp requires little power (3W or 4W), but a tumble dryer needs lots (about 2,400W).  1000 watts are called a kilowatt, or kW.
Now take a kettle.  Kettles typically have power ratings of 1000W, or 1kW.  The unit to measure energy (the famous kWh or kilowatt hour) is the energy spent running the 1 kW kettle for one hour. Running your kettle for one hour would make about 15 brews.* So the price per kWh on your energy bill tells you the price of 15 brews of your kettle, if you like.
So next time you see a bill with a price of £14c/kWh** (14 cents for each kilowatt-hour spent) you know your 15 brews cost you around 14 cents (plus a few little extras the utilities add for their benefit).  This may seem like very little.  But of course add the fridge, washing machine,  dryer, dish washer, light, heater, … and it starts to add up.
And you?  Do you know how much you’re paying for your 15 brews (or kWh)?
 
* assuming you use a kettle with 1 liter in it and it takes 3.5 minutes to boil with minor inefficiencies.
** because electricity is sold by kilowatt hour (kWh), it is more correct to say that the power company sells energy, not power.  Energy is power carried out over a period of time — like running your kettle for an hour.

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