Quick Facts & Stats
Quick Facts & Stats about Energy Production & Usage
Percentage Powered by Renewable Energy
3% of all Transportation needs
8% of all Industrial needs
5% of all Residential & Commercial needs
7% of all Electricity Generation
In 2008, electricity in the U.S. was generated by three major sources: Fossil Fuels (70.7%); Nuclear Power (19.5%); and Renewable Sources (9.8%). Renewable sources include: hydropower, biomass (organic material made from plants and animals such as manure), geothermal, wind, and solar energy. Nonrenewable sources include: natural gas, coal, oil, petroleum, and nuclear energy.
- In the U.S., thermoelectric power generation accounts for the largest use of fresh water at about 41% of the total. Continued investment in alternative energy technologies, such as wind & solar has two primary benefits: 1) they will not generate greenhouse gases; 2) they do not require water for the production of electricity.
Natural gas emits about half as much carbon dioxide (~400 g CO2/kWh) as coal (~800 g CO2/kWh) per unit of energy produced. However, in the U.S., coal-fired power plants run all the time to produce the base power levels, while natural gas-fired power plants
only run when additional electricity is needed, since coal is cheaper than natural gas (see where your state ranks in the generation of carbon dioxide (the major component of human generated green house gases) from the production of electricity...see chart)
Currently, there are 104 commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S., which do not produce any greenhouse gases, although there is the issue of disposal/long term storage of the radioactive, spent fuel rods.
Energy Use at Home
A typical U.S. household consumes about 11,000 kWh of electricity per year or about 917 kWh per month. One thousand watt-hours equal 1 kilowatt-hour, or 1 kWh. The average residential rate is 9.4 cents per kWh, costing one household an average of $1,034 annually.
Heating & Cooling account for about 43% of average household's utility bill
About 60% of U.S. homes are heated by natural gas
Only about 40% of U.S. homes use natural gas to make hot water, with about 60% of hot water produced by electricity
Among home appliances, refrigerators & freezers use the most electricity
Household lighting, which consumes about 11% of a household's energy, is the easiest and most cost effective areas to save energy