Energy, Power and Electricity
What is energy?
- usable heat or force
- a source of usable power, such as petroleum, coal, solar, natural gas, wind or tidal forces
How does it differ from power and electricity?
Electricity is a form of energy. “Energy” is commonly used interchangeably with “power,” but they are not the same thing. While energy is the capacity to do work, power is the conversion of this energy into work over time.
Electric utilities sell electrical energy, which is converted into power when you use it. Although energy, like power, can be measured in watts, power is measured by the number of watts converted into work over time, or watt/hours.
While this may be confusing, the important point is that the rate at which energy is converted into power (and you pay for it) in most devices is dependent on the voltage at which it is delivered.
So where does electricity come in?
Electricity is a type of energy transmitted via charged particles such as electrons, protons or ion flow. It is magnetic, colorless, weightless and odorless.
Electricity has been around since the dawn of time–think about lightning and static electricity.
But it has been only in the last 200 years that humankind has been able to harness it so it keeps us warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot, and powers our light bulbs and refrigerators and televisions and vacuum cleaners and computers, and all the other electrical devices we take for granted in our daily lives and work.