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A Cup of Green

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Electric Tuesday

Green Electricity

Its Electric Tuesday!

Here are some great Facts about Electricity!!

Fun Facts source: Evolve Green

In 1978, only eight percent of households had microwave ovens. Today, 83 percent have them.

The size of a typical home has increased from 1100 to 1800 square feet over the past ten years.

As late as 1993, high-tech paraphernalia like computers, printers and video games had a negligible effect on power usage. Today, it’s estimated to account for more than 13 percent of a typical household energy budget. By 2020, it could be as much as 25 percent.

In 2002, the following amount of electricity, in gigawatt-hours, was generated from the following sources of fuel:

  • Coal: 1,925,792 GWh
  • Nuclear: 779,461 GWh
  • Gas: 695,226 GWh
  • Hydro: 255,077 GWh
  • Fuel oil: 91,629 GWh
  • Biomass: 71,534 GWh
  • Other (geothermal, non-wood waste, wind and solar): 22,737 GWh

It’s estimated that electricity consumption will increase by 51 percent from 2002 to 2025.

The first central power plant – Pearl Street Station in lower Manhattan, built by Thomas Edison – began generating electricity on September 4, 1882. Pearl Street had one generator and it produced power for 800 electric light bulbs. Within 14 months, Pearl Street Station had 508 subscribers and 12,732 bulbs.

Since the first power plant lit up 800 light bulbs in 1882, the electric utility industry has grown to generate over 2.5 million gigawatt-hours annually, the equivalent of lighting 4.8 billion 60-watt light bulbs for a year.

 

Fun facts about natural gas:

Natural gas use has increased by 35 percent over the past ten years, and is projected to grow 45 percent by 2015.

Ninety-nine percent of the natural gas used in the United States comes from North America.

The U.S. gas distribution network is comprised of more than 1.2 miles of pipeline, supplying 175 million consumers.

Natural gas provides 24 percent of all the energy used in the United States.

Alliant Energy owns and maintains more than 8,000 miles of natural gas main.

About 55 percent of American homes use natural gas for heating.

The first use of gas energy in the United States occurred in 1816, when gaslights illuminated the streets of Baltimore, Maryland.

Currently, oil provides the largest share of U.S. energy consumption — about 41 percent of the entire market. Natural gas provides about 24 percent, coal 23 percent, hydropower 4 percent and nuclear power 8 percent.

In the United States, natural gas is used for:

  • Industrial processes = 46%
  • Residential use = 22%
  • Generating electricity = 15%
  • Commercial buildings = 15%

 

Fun facts about renewable energy:

In 1998, only 7.5 percent of our nation’s energy came from renewable resources, even though the amount of renewable energy available was more than 250 times U.S. energy consumption.

If your family could use only renewable energy for all your energy needs, you could help reduce the amount of emissions in the air each year by 20,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, 70 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 50 pounds of nitrogen oxide.

At the end of 2003, Alliant Energy’s utility customers used seven percent of the nation’s available wind power.

Water is currently the most commonly used renewable energy resource, providing enough power to meet the needs of 28.3 million consumers.

Biomass currently supplies about four percent of the energy produced in the U.S., and could potentially provide almost 20 percent.

Wind farms currently produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 600,000 families.

The U.S. Department of Energy expects wind power to supply at least five percent of the nation’s electricity by 2020.

In 1990 in California alone, wind power offset the emission of more than 2.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide and 15 million pounds of other pollutants – the same amount of air quality provided by more than 150 million trees.

Technological innovations have brought the cost of wind power down from more than 30 cents per kilowatt-hour during the 1980s to less than six cents per kilowatt-hour today.

More than 10,000 homes in the United States are powered entirely by solar energy.

According to the American Solar Energy Society, enough sunlight falls on the earth’s surface each minute to meet world energy demand for an entire year.

Replacing an electric water heater with a solar model can reduce water heat costs by 50 to 80 percent every year – and over the 20-year life of the equipment, more than 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be displaced.

Silicon from one ton of sand, used in photovoltaic cells, could produce as much electricity as burning 500,000 tons of coal.

Geothermal energy currently provides more than 2,700 megawatts of electricity nationwide – the equivalent of three nuclear power plants, or enough to power more than 3.5 million homes.

A geothermal power plant emits no nitrogen oxides, very few sulfur dioxides and 1,000 to 2,000 times less carbon dioxide than a fossil fuel plant.

 

Here are some clever ways to save some electricity and some green :)  If everyone does a little a lot is gained.

For inspiration watch this video on how to make light bulbs out of water and 2 litter bottles!

Below provided by Hub Pages

1 Replace ALL bulbs in your home with CFL bulbs (the spiral flourescent bulbs) This can save you hundreds of dollars a year as well as reducing your energy used from the power company, which makes you a little more earth friendly!

2 Use less air conditioning when possible, This can be achieved by turning your a/c off when your not home (its alot easier to cool a home in 30 minutes than to let the air run for 8 hours while your at work)

3 Sleep in the dark and quiet! Just by turning the tv and fan off at night you can save over 100.00 a year!!!!

4 Turn off outside lighting after 1 am, instead of allowing the lights to run for eight or more hours a night.

5 Keep the refrigerator door closed, and adjust the thermostat to keep it cold, but not overly cold, try a med-low setting

6 Adjust your hot water heater down to 110 degrees to save money heating water, also try using as little hot water as possible, washing laundry in cold water, can save you over 200 a year. Also consider using less hot water in the shower by taking a cooler shower or shortening the time your in. You can also insulate your hot water heater, and water lines, to make them more energy efficient!

7 Powered down computers when not in use! This is huge, computers suck alot of juice, and therefore create alot of heat, causing your central air to run more often, costing you money all the way around.

8 Do not use small electrical devices for lighting (nightlight) or pest control (device that plugs in and emits a “sound” driving pests out) using these types of devices can raise your electric bill 10-20 dollars a month.

9 Keep windows covered to prevent light from entering the home during the day, solar radiation (sunlight) can be your air conditioners worst enemy. Just by using solar blinds or cutains, or even window tint, you can cut cost’s by as much as fifteen percent!

10 Hang dry your denim! Not only does this prolong the life of your jeans, but taking just 10 minutes off of a dry cycle can save you a few bucks, PER LOAD!!!

11 Try using natural lighting when possible through the day, I reccomend opening the blinds or cutrains whenever you need light, and closing them when you don’t.

In The Kitchen

  1. Keep your oven door closed and peek through the window.
  2. Cooking multiple meals at a time can also be helpful
  3. When possible try using a small skillet on a small burner
  4. Remember that a slow boil is just as effective as a pot boiling with furry!
  5. Use a lid when possible to trap heat, and cook food faster
  6. Use your ovens timer and set it to precise times, and use the left over heat to finish curing your food.
  7. Try using left over oven heat to warm plates
  8. During winter months vent left over oven heat into your home to help with your heating costs
  9. Try using a Toaster Oven when possible to keep electrical use to a minimum
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