We commonly say "electricity consumption" for both :

  • the electric energy actually consumed by appliances
  • the electric energy drawn from the grid by a house, measured by a meter (what appears on your utility bill)

I would like to find a more specific word for the latter, in the specific context of "measuring electric energy flow inside a house" :

  • From the energy supplier's point of view, electricity drawn to your house is a consumption no matter what you do with it. The supplier calls "energy drawn from the grid" consumption because the supplier charges you for it (business).
  • From within your house, you could store the drawn electric energy in a battery rather than "consuming" it (converting the electric energy to another form). Therefore, not all energy drawn is necessarily "consumed" (physics). You can also "draw electric energy" from a solar panel, so the energy from the grid becomes just one of many "energy withdrawals".

Translations from the French word "Soutirage" (literally "under pull") include racking or withdrawal but they seem seldom used online.

What is the correct noun for the action of drawing energy from a source ?

  • 2
    You could say "load", or "electrical load" – Stefan Feb 19 '19 at 18:38
  • 1
    Yep, to an electrical engineering type it's a "load". – Hot Licks Feb 19 '19 at 18:43
  • Your energy management system is an 'appliance', and any consumption not lost to entropy can be called 'storage'. Using it later can be called 'production', along with any local 'generation'. – AmI Feb 19 '19 at 19:04
  • Is "soutirage" akin to sucking electricity? – user22542 Feb 19 '19 at 19:47
  • Soutirage comes from brewing. Yes it’s kind of “sucking in” : draining or tapping from a barrel. – Michael Técourt Feb 20 '19 at 5:13

Wattage, power usage, or current drain.

Soutirage immediately brings sapping to mind (as in, sapping electricity from a source is a bit like drawing from it), except that it's not a very elegant term, and probably not suitable for describing power drawn by a household.

  • The best noun would be electrical "usage" (as opposed to the line charge). It's on the bill, but good luck searching it on Google. – user22542 Feb 19 '19 at 19:44
  • When I hear drain I think about loss or waste, like something draining a battery. Is it only my interpretation ? I think usage is exactly what I'm searching for. Thanks ! – Michael Técourt Feb 20 '19 at 9:51

Any action is described by a verb not a noun. A verb can be used as a noun; for instance The drawing of electricity costs money.

The utility of electricity is described by what it accomplishes. This can be making a wheel turn or just warming a chemical process to charge a battery. Both of these are described as Work.

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