Many non-native English speakers, especially from Asia, often say "There is no electricity at home".

But seem that the native English speakers will say "There is no power at home".

so, When to use "electricity" and when to use "power"?

  • 1
    Real Example: "During the storm, we were without power for 6 days. We're on a well, so when we don't have electricity, we don't have water." Thus, I suggest that you say "power" as the general term, and say "electricity" when you mean that you need voltage and current to do a specific thing -- in this example, run the well's pump. But it doesn't really matter; you will be understood either way.
    – ab2
    Jul 20, 2015 at 3:51
  • most native English speakers I met use "power" in the case we only talk about electricity
    – Tom
    Jul 20, 2015 at 4:57

1 Answer 1


The two words are not synonymous although they may sometimes appear to be so. It is a function of context. As a native speaker, I say we have no power at home when it is clear from the domestic context that we have no electricity. If I were in a car and said we have no power, I would mean we have no working engine or transmission. If in a ship driven by steam turbine, I would mean we have no steam or no transmission, unless I were referring to the electricity supply points, in which case I would mean we have no elecricity.

  • "power: energy that is produced by mechanical, electrical, or other means and used to operate a device." So if you say our car has no power --> our car has no energy produced by engine?
    – Tom
    Jul 20, 2015 at 14:41
  • Yes, a car whose engine has no power produces no energy. However, be aware that, in physics, there is a distinction between the two words. Power is the rate at which energy is delivered. For example, energy is measured in Joules; power is Joules per second, otherwise known as Watts. A car engine of power one hundred kilowatts would deliver one hundred thousand Joules of energy per second.
    – Anton
    Jul 21, 2015 at 9:04

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