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How much Energy do you ACTUALLY Use?

October 9, 2014
by dmirza

Have you ever wondered about how much energy you consume over the course of a year? There’s a good chance it’s a lot more than you would expect. Every year, each person in our nation goes through about 148,600,000 BTU of energy. To put that into perspective, that’s the same amount of energy in over 15,000 pounds of coal. It would equal the explosive energy of more than 165,000 sticks of dynamite. That’s a lot of energy! Texas is a bit above average when it comes to energy consumption. Each person in the state uses about 171,600,000 BTU worth of energy each year. That’s equal to almost 18,000 pounds of coal and 190,000 sticks of dynamite!

How Much Energy Do You Actually UseTruthfully, the average person’s energy consumption could be higher or lower depending on their energy needs, geographic location, and transportation. For someone using 18,000 pounds of coal over a year, they’d be expending about 49.3 pounds of coal per day. That includes everything from lighting, heat/AC, transportation, and any other energy consuming appliance you use. Now, think about it this way: imagine everything you own is powered by coal. Your car, your fireplace, your alarm clock. Every four days, you would use enough coal equal to the weight of an average man.
Let’s look at another fuel supply many of us could relate to: Burritos. Not unlike cars, our bodies require fuel to function. The food we eat gets digested and the calories are stored or burned as needed. Assuming a large burrito with all available toppings comes out to 1200 kilocalories (which equals 4758.8 BTU), you would need more than 36,000 burritos to get you through the year, powering everything you use. By comparison, 600 burritos would get you as a person through the year, maintaining your same body weight. It takes 60 times as many burritos to power everything you use.

So, what can we do to reduce our fuel consumption? Weatherstripping your home is a good place to start. About half of your energy bill goes toward climate control. You can gut that portion down by sealing the numerous small gaps between window and door frames. By keeping more controlled air in, your heating and cooling systems don’t need to work as hard. Driving a hybrid or all-electric vehicle will really cut down on emissions and fuel consumption. Even planting some trees in your yard to shade your home in the summer can help reduce energy bills. There are so many ways to save energy (and money!) and many of them won’t cost you a dime!

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