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Energy Fast Facts

  • Only 10 percent of the energy used by an incandescent light bulb produces light; the rest is given off as heat.
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use only a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last 8-12 times longer.
  • In the United States, about 49 percent of our energy comes from coal, 20 percent from natural gas, and 19 percent from nuclear.
  • Fossil fuels account for 86 percent of annual energy use in the U.S.
  • 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.
  • Thirty percent of the energy used in buildings is used inefficiently or unnecessarily.
  • Schools spend more money on energy than on computers and textbooks combined.
  • If every U.S. household replaced four incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, we'd save as much energy as removing seven million cars from the road.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "Sleep" features that power down electronic devices when they are not in use can save households up to $70 annually.

Source: National Wildlife Federation,

What you can do

On campus

  • Turn off lights and equipment (printers & photocopiers) when leaving the room.
  • Use the stairs, not the elevator.
  • Use the revolving doors located in the Student Center.

At home

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLS).
  • Set thermostats to 68° or below in winter and 75° or above in summer. Lower the thermostat on water heaters no higher than 120°.
  • Replace weather-stripping around windows and doors.
  • Unplug electrical devices when not in use.

You can make a difference!

Websites on energy efficiency

United States Department of Energy The Department of Energy is committed to reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and developing energy efficient technologies for buildings, homes, transportation, power systems and industry.

United States Environmental Protection Agency
National Wildlife Federation
Energy Star – The Business Voice of a Green Economy