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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Topic for today: Energy consumption

Energy Consumption


    Energy consumption in American is a large problem that needs attention. There are many countries that use less energy than the United States, but there are also some that use more. Devices have been made to measure appliance use in real time to give homeowners a better idea of how to use efficiently. Home owners can also reduce their consumption by using energy efficient appliances. Easy steps can be taken to lower our energy consumption, and we all should pay more attention to how we use electronics. Cities and towns should be better constructed and planned better to transport energy without excess loss.
            In 2005 the average residential monthly utility used of electricity was 938 kilowatt hours. That does not take into consideration how some areas in the United States are far more densely populated than others. That number also does not factor in the many colleges and business areas in the United States. Some of these places do not turn their lights or computers off at night. College campuses have many buildings with sections set aside just for computers. These computers get accessed all day long and never get shutdown. One or two computers does not make much of a difference however all of these little electronics add up, especially if we are to include the entire world. There are plenty of states and companies that are striving to make a difference, they have implemented various schedules that will lower energy consumption. Different tactics like employee car-pooling, four day work weeks and public transportation are various ways some companies are adapting to the current energy demands. 
            In 2008 the United States used 13,654 kilowatt hours per capita and we are on a steady upward slope. Finland and Canada used more at around 16,000 kilowatt hours. More densely populated areas such as china can be found at the bottom of the list with 2,455 kilowatt hours, but that is subject to change as the middle class in china will be major energy consumers in the near future. In Iowa the average retail price for one kilowatt hour was 9.45 for residential use on January 2011. Iowa is not bad compared with Hawaii at about 30.00 per kilowatt hour and Connecticut which has residential electricity for 16.00 a kilowatt hour.
            There have been devices made that can measure the use of kilowatt hours in real time in the home. These devices may be a little expensive however the save much more energy over the long run. The Energy Detective or TED is one of these devices that can be installed easily into the home and give an accurate read out for the entire house. Energy efficient appliances have made progress by lower energy consumption in the residential and even commercial areas. They are generally a little expensive up front but after a few years of use the energy saved will displace the cost. There have even been tax incentives initiated by the president to provoke the general public to buy these higher rated energy appliances. Regular light bulbs should be replaced in the home by the more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs to lower energy consumption easily and effectively.
            Every single person can help lower their carbon footprint by paying attention to the appliances we use. As a country we are using less energy than some other more industrial countries. Home owners should take steps to make sure their house is energy efficient by using devices to monitor kilowatt use and also purchase energy efficient appliances. Our cities could be set up much more efficiently to transport energy without loss of energy.


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