EcoFacts

U.S. energy miscellany

  • Since the 1970s, the share of residential electricity use by consumer electronics and appliances has nearly doubled to 31%. These have become increasingly more efficient, also more affordable and abundant.
  • One third of the entire population in the U.S. uses smart phones now, which merely sip electricity – costing  about 50 cents per year to charge. Tablet computers will catch up in a few years, and cost a couple bucks per annum.
  • In the last couple of years American population has increased by a few million, but total energy consumption and CO2 emissions have decreased.
  • Electricity generation from natural gas has increased 96% since 2000, while that from coal has decreased, albeit less dramatically.
  • In 2012 in the U.S. 2 new nuclear reactors were licensed for construction, the first since 1978.
  • More than half of all energy produced in the U.S. is wasted, unused. Most, from inefficiencies in power plants and the internal combustion engine.  (When will THIS change?!)

Another interesting little thingy discovered – the meter plug is like a mini smart meter. The smart part allows a device plugged into it to send real time info on energy use over Bluetooth to your smart phone, and can also turn on or off the device. The dumber part could be the increased r f pollution in your home environment, however, I was happy to learn that Bluetooth is an extremely weak signal, far weaker than cell phones or smart meters! Still, the jury remains out on the effects of all the wireless devices we have come to love/need.

About Barbara Hirsch

Classical recording engineer and eco-person. Barbara's EcoFacts column is published on Santa Barbara View every weekend and is archived under the Green & Garden tab.

One Response to EcoFacts

  1. Barbara December 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Just fyi, in the last paragraph, that should be “the increased r f pollution in your home environment.”

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