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Energy Pathway Fast Facts

  • Only 10 percent of the energy used by an incandescent light bulb produces light; the rest is given off as heat. (http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/lighting/bulbs.html)
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use only a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer. (http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/lighting/bulbs.html)
  • As of 2015, in the United States about 33 percent of our energy comes from coal, 33 percent from natural gas, and 20 percent from nuclear. (https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs)
  • Fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and petroleum) account for 67 percent of annual energy use in the U.S in 2015. (https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs)
  • The amount of energy released by burning a wood match is 1 BTU. The total energy used in the U.S. each year is 99.89 quadrillion BTU. (US EPA National Service Center for Environmental Publications: Fast Facts on Energy Use)
  • Thirty percent of the energy used in buildings is used inefficiently or unnecessarily. (https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/about-us/facts-and-stats)
  • Schools spend more money on energy than on computers and textbooks combined. (https://www.ase.org/initiatives/education)
  • In the next two decades, U.S. energy consumption will increase by almost 40 percent - an amount equal to today's energy use in California, Texas, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois combined, according to estimates from the Energy Information Administration. (Alliance to Save Energy)
  • Many idle electronics - TVs, VCRs, DVD and CD players, cordless phones, microwaves - use energy even when switched off to keep display clocks lit and memory chips and remote controls working. Nationally, these energy "vampires" use 5 percent of our domestic energy and cost consumers more than $3 billion annually. (http://www.energyhog.org)
  • Over an air conditioner's lifetime, only one-fourth of the total cost is for the purchase of the air conditioning unit. The greater cost - three-fourths - is for the energy to run the unit. (http://www.energyhog.org)
  • "Sleep" features that power down electronic devices when they are not in use can save households up to $30 annually. (https://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-efficient-computers-home-office-equipment-and-electronics)

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