How convenient is it to have electricity come right to your home? We use electricity for so many things: lighting, heating, cooling, entertainment, cleaning, food storage and preparation, and even for taking this class!
Generating electricity from any source creates varying levels of environmental damage, including ecosystem disruption, water contamination, or polluting gas emissions. If we reduce energy use, then we reduce these environmental impacts.
We make choices about our energy use based on how we feel about conservation, the environment, and convenience. Reflect on your energy use, and review the following resources:
- Review the tips at this site for ideas to reduce energy use at home.
- Review this site for power outage readiness.
Respond to the questions for ONE of the following scenarios:
- Power’s off!
- When the power goes out, explain your biggest inconvenience. What do you manage to live without?
- If the power is out for 3 days or more, what are your main concerns? What are the absolute essentials? How do you know food is safe?
- Explain what the best back-up source for a power outage would be (for example, solar panels, a gas-powered generator, or even a power inverter for your car).
- Include 1 benefit and 1 drawback. What is your back-up plan?
- Power’s on!
- In the U.S., heating, ventilation, and air conditioning accounts (HVAC) for 48% of home electricity costs (DoE, 2018). Describe one behavior you can change to reduce heating or cooling energy use.
- Americans pay 9% of their electricity costs for lighting (EIA, 2018a). Explain how changing all of your light bulbs to LEDs can help save energy.
- On average, 18% of home electricity costs go to heating water (EIA, 2018b). Describe one way to reduce hot water use. How easy or difficult is this to do?