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Home / Did You Know? / Energy Facts

Curious facts
· If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
· If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
· One tone of carbon dioxide would fill the average family home; so most households produce carbon dioxide equivalent to 15 times the size of their home each year!
· 10% of you energy bill is wasted on stand-by electricity! That's computers, TVs, stereos etc, that are not totally switched off and are left in stand by mode.
· A compact fluorescent light globe uses 80% less energy than a standard globe and lasts 6 times as long.
Home energy facts
· Microwaves use around half the energy of conventional ovens, and are most efficient for small portion or defrosting.
· Every time you open your oven door during cooking, you lose at least 25-30% of temperature.
· Washers and dryers can account for as much as 25 percent of the energy used at your home.
· As much as 90 percent of the energy consumed by washing machines goes toward heating the water.
· Washing machines use about 15 percent of all water used in home.
· If your home thermostat is set between 18oС and 22.2oС during winter months, you can save as much as three percent of the energy used.
· Dust on a light bulb or dirt on a glass fixture can reduce the light given off by 10 percent.
· Even the paint color you choose can affect your energy use. A white wall reflects 80 percent of the light that hits it; a black wall reflects just 10 percent. The more light reflected by walls, the greater the chance that the light can be "recycled" by striking the wall, bouncing off and illuminating the room.
· You can save 10 percent or more of your heating and cooling costs by insulating and tightening ducts.
· About 15 percent of the energy you use for heating your home goes to warming the air that leaks in through the cracks.
· The most effective new appliances typically use half the energy of the more wasteful ones.
· Choose a refrigerator with a freezer on top rather than a side-by-side unit. On average, the savings amount to 20 percent.
· Between 15 and 30 percent of the energy your water heater uses goes to keeping a tank of water hot, just in case you need it.
· A double-pane window retains twice the heat of a single-pane window.
· 40 percentage of the energy you use in your home is for heat.
· Turn off the water faucet when brushing your teeth. This simple act can save 9 gallon of water every time you brush.
· If a faucet leaks enough water to fill a soda bottle every 30 minutes, it will waste 2,192 gallons a year!
· A bolt of lightning contains enough energy to toast 160,000 pieces of bread!
· That a PC Monitor left on overnight wastes enough energy to laser print 800 sheets of paper!
· For every minute that a refrigerator door is open, it will take 3 minutes for it to regain its temperature!
· You can reduce your energy bill by about 30% by purchasing energy efficient products for your home!
Annual Home Energy Cost and Estimated Energy Savings
· 20oC is an ideal room temperature, proper control and regular maintenance of your heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10-20%.
· A television in standby mode can use up to as much as half of the electricity as when it is switched on - are you leaving lights.
Where does all the greenhouse gas in my home come from?
World Energy Facts
Energy Consumption
· Though accounting for only 5 percent of the world's population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world's energy.
· Worldwide, some 2 billion people are currently without electricity.
· World energy consumption is expected to increase 40% to 50% by the year 2010, and the global mix of fuels--renewables (18%), nuclear (4%), and fossil (78%)--is projected to remain substantially the same as today; thus global carbon dioxide emissions would also increase 50% to 60%.
· Developing countries use 30% of global energy. Rapid population growth, combined with economic growth, will rapidly increase that percentage in the next 10 years.
· The World Bank estimates that investments of $1 trillion will be needed in this decade and upwards of $4 trillion during the next 30 years to meet developing countries' electricity needs alone.
· Every hour, the sun showers the earth with more energy than the world's entire population consumes in a whole year.
· On average, 16 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere every 24 hours by human use worldwide.
· The transportation sector consumed 35% of the nation's energy in 1990; this sector is 97% dependent on petroleum.
· The energy used to produce one day's junk mail in America is enough to heat 250,000 homes.
· A glass bottle takes 1 million years to decompose.
· The plastic from five soda bottles can completely insulate a ski jacket.
· Fossil fuels are depleted at a rate that is 100,000 times faster than they are formed.
Nearly 80% of the energy used around the world comes from burning fossil fuels. The following chart shows how we use this energy:
Health
· About 81 tons of mercury are emitted into the atmosphere each year as a result of electric power generation. Mercury is the most toxic heavy metal in existence.
· Burning fossil fuels to produce energy releases carbon dioxide and other global-warming-causing gases into the atmosphere. Global warming will increase the incidence of infectious diseases (including equine encephalitis and Lyme disease), death from heat waves, blizzards, and floods, and species loss.
Transportation
· The transportation sector consumed 40% of the nation's energy; this sector is 97% dependent on petroleum.
· Transportation accounts from 70 to 90% of total carbon monoxide emissions.
· Transportation accounts from 45 to 50% of total emissions of nitrogen oxides. Other sources are chemicals (notably nitrates) industrial production and combustion of fossil fuels in thermal power plants.
· Transportation accounts from 40 to 50% of total emissions of HC/VOC. They can be emitted by incomplete combustion (70%), during refueling (10%) or by evaporation from storage units (20%), particularly gas tanks. For instance, a car parked overnight during summer emits approximately 4 grams of HC/VOC. Other important sources are petrochemical (plastics and solvent) industries.
· Transportation accounts for around 25% of total emissions of particulates. Diesel engines are the main emitters. Other important sources are thermal power plants using coal.
· Smog is strongly linked with transportation and industrial activities, notably in urban areas. Smog is particularly dense during a thermal inversion (static regional air masses that enable the accumulation of pollutants).
· Diesel and gasoline engines are the major sources of odors accounted by transportation. Odors are particularly prevalent during smog conditions. Odors are at worst an annoyance, but they are linked with the presence of harmful air pollutants like sulfur dioxide, ozone and HC/VOC. People tend to stay or move away from areas having a significant prevalence of odors.
· Transportation accounts for around 30% of total carbon dioxide emissions in developed countries (15% worldwide).
· About 66% of carbon dioxide emissions from transportation come from the combustion of gasoline, 16% from diesel fuel and 15% from jet fuel. Carbon dioxide emissions by transportation have the following modal breakdown: cars (43%), light trucks (20%), heavy trucks (14%), airplanes (14%), rail and marine (7%) and non-oil based (2%). Other significant natural sources are volcanic eruptions and the metabolic respiration of living organisms (including decomposition).
Renewables
· For the 2 billion people without access to electricity, it would be cheaper to install solar panels than to extend the electrical grid.
· Within 15 years, renewable energy could be generating enough electricity to power 40 million homes and offset 70 days of oil imports.
Biomass facts and figures
· In order to reach the biomass target, 140,000 hectares of land would need to be used for energy crops.
· About 13% of the world's primary energy comes from biomass This is equivalent to 25 million barrels of oil per day.
· The world's stored biomass energy is as large as the proven fossil fuel reserves - 90% of this in trees.
· Half a kilo of dry plant tissue can produce as much as 1890 kcal of heat which is equivalent to the heat available from a quarter of kilogram of coal.
· 16 million hectares of the world's forests disappear each year.
Photovoltaics
· Providing power for villages in developing countries is a fast-growing market for photovoltaics.
A one kilowatt PV system each month:
· prevents about 150 lbs. of coal from being mined;
· prevents about 300 lbs. of CO2 from entering the atmosphere;
· keeps about 105 gallons of water from being consumed;
· keeps NO and SO2 from being released into the environment;
Wind
· Wind power is the fastest-growing energy source in the world.
Using 100 kWh of wind power each month is equivalent to:
· planting 1/2 acre of trees;
· not driving 2,400 miles;
Solar Thermal
· Research shows that an average household with an electric water heater spends about 25% of its home energy costs on heating water.
· Solar water heaters offered the largest potential savings, with solar water-heater owners saving as much as 50% to 85% annually on their utility bills over the cost of electric water heating.
· You can expect a simple payback of 4 to 8 years on a well-designed and properly installed solar water heater. (Simple payback is the length of time required to recover your investment through reduced or avoided energy costs.)
· Solar water heaters do not pollute. By investing in one, you will be avoiding carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and the other air pollution and wastes created when your utility generates power or you burn fuel to heat your household water. When a solar water heater replaces an electric water heater, the electricity displaced over 20 years represents more than 50 tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions alone.
Alternative Fuels
· Using biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine substantially reduces emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.
Biodiesel:
· can be used at 100% levels or mixed in any proportion with No. 2 diesel or No. 1 diesel;
· contains no nitrogen or aromatics;
· typically contains less than 15 ppm sulfur - Does not contribute to sulfur dioxide emissions;
· has characteristically low carbon monoxide, particulate, soot and hydrocarbon emissions;
· contains 11% oxygen by weight;
· has the highest energy content (BTUs) of any alternative fuel and is comparable to No. 1 diesel;
Energy Efficiency
· Just by using the "off the shelf" energy-efficient technologies available today, we could cut the cost of heating, cooling, and lighting our homes and workplaces by up to 80%.
· Replacing one incandescent light bulb with an energy-saving compact fluorescent bulb means 1,000 pounds less carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere and $67 dollars is saved on energy costs over the bulb's lifetime.
· A decrease of only 1% in industrial energy use would save the equivalent of about 55 million barrels of oil per year, worth about $1 billion.
Energy Facts - Recycling
Aluminum
· Recycled aluminum saves 95% energy vs. virgin aluminum; recycling of one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours.
· A recycled aluminum can saves the energy equivalent of 87 ounces of gas.
· Recycled aluminum reduces pollution by 95%.
· 4 lbs. of bauxite are saved for every pound of aluminum recycled.
· Enough aluminum is thrown away to rebuild our commercial air fleet 4 times every year.
Glass
· Recycled glass saves 50% energy vs. virgin glass; recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours.
· Recycled glass generates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution.
· 1 ton of glass made from 50% recycled materials saves 250 lbs. of mining waste.
· Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year.
Paper
· Recycled paper saves 60% energy vs. virgin paper.
· Recycled paper generates 95% less air pollution: each ton saves 60 lbs. of air pollution.
· Recycling of each ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water.
· Every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12' wall from New York to California Plastic.
· If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep 2 billion tons of plastic out of landfills.
· According to the EPA, recycling a pound of PET saves approximately 12,000 BTU's.
· We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year.
Further Facts
· A ton of recycled paper equals or saves 17 trees in paper production.
· Production of recycled paper uses 80% less water, 65% less energy and produces 95% less air pollution than virgin paper production.
· If offices throughout the country increased the rate of two-sided photocopying from the 1991 figure of 20% to 60%, they could save the equivalent of about 15 million trees.
· Global paper use has grown more than six-fold since 1950. One fifth of all wood harvested in the world ends up in paper. It takes 2 to 3.5 tons of trees to make one ton of paper. Pulp and paper is the 5th largest industrial consumer of energy in the world, using as much power to produce a ton of product as the iron and steel industry. In some countries, including the United States, paper accounts for nearly 40 percent of all municipal solid waste. Making paper uses more water per ton than any other product in the world.
· Over a ton of resources is saved for every ton of glass recycled - 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar. Also a ton of glass produced from raw materials creates 384 pounds of mining waste. Using 50% recycled glass cuts the waste by 75%.
· Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
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