Cost of Electric Power
How Electricity is obtained on a Large Scale
The water power of a stream depends upon the quantity of water and the force with which it flows. The electric power of a current depends upon the quantity of electricity and the force under which it flows. The unit of electric power is called the watt; it is the power furnished by a current of one ampere with a voltage of one volt.
One watt represents a very small amount of electric power, and for practical purposes a unit 1000 times as large is used, namely, the kilowatt. By experiment it has been found that one kilowatt is equivalent to about 1-1/3 horse power. Electric current is charged for by the watt hour. A current of one ampere, having a voltage of one volt, will furnish in the course of one hour one watt hour of energy. Energy for electric lighting is sold at the rate of about ten cents per kilowatt hour. For other purposes it is less expensive. The meters commonly used measure the amperes, volts, and time automatically, and register the electric power supplied in watt hours.