Rebates & Tax Credits for U.S. consumers
Incentives for installing insulation and for buying energy-efficient appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners are often available from local and state governments and utilities. You can see what's available at
DSIRE, Energy.gov, and Energy Star.
Welcome students from:
* South Adams M.S. (Berne, IN)
Related sites: Home Power Magazine
. All about renewable energy for the home.
. Blog about a family striving to have no
impact. (i.e., What little they use, they offset.) Inspirational.
. News and resources about living without being connected to a utility company.
Mr. Electricity in the news: "Michael Bluejay runs the outstanding Saving Electricity site that I've mentioned many times before."
--J.D. Roth, Get Rich Slowly Deep Green
by Jenny Nazak, 2018
Small Steps, Big Strides: Building Sustainability Habits at Home
(book), Lucinda F. Brown, 2016
How much money you'll save with these common energy-saving strategies
, Sep. 28, 2015
Radio interview about saving electricity
Newstalk 1010 (Toronto)
, April 21, 2015
How much does your PC cost in electricity?
, Nov 21, 2013
How Much Electricity Do Your Gadgets Really Use?
, Sep. 7, 2013
Can my bicycle power my toaster?
, June 10, 2013
Six summer debt traps and how to avoid them
, June 5, 2013
To convert to gas or electric?
Marketplace Radio (NPR)
, July 20, 2012
8 Simple Ways to Reduce Household Waste
Living Green Magazine
, June 29, 2012
Why is my electric bill so high?
New York Daily News
, Mar. 27, 2012
Fight the Power
(Canada's largest private broadcaster), Mar. 23, 2012
How to Cut Your Electric Bill
, Mar. 20, 2012
Tips to save energy when using your computer
WPLG Channel 10 (Miami, FL)
, Feb. 23, 2012
How long will it take an energy-efficient washer/dryer to pay for itself?
Christian Science Monitor
, Oct. 29, 2011
10 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill
, August 23, 2011
18 ways to save on utility bills
, July 9, 2011
How to Save $500 Worth of Energy This Summer
, June 28, 2011
Hot over the energy bill? Turn off the A/C, just chill
, June 24, 2011
Cool Site of the Day
Kim Komando (syndicated radio host)
, May 29, 2011
This calculator shows how much you spend washing clothes
, May 6, 2011
What you pay when you're away
WCPO Channel 9
(Cincinatti), May 5, 2011
Spotting energy gluttons in your home
(CA), Apr. 7, 2011
Walnut Creek author has tips for livng a thrifty life
Contra Costa Times
(CA), Jan. 24, 2011
Do space heaters save money and energy?
Jan. 10, 2011
Energy steps to take for a less pricey winter
Nov. 10, 2010
Should you shut down your computer or put it to sleep?
Nov. 1, 2010
Energy saving tips for fall
Chicago Tribune & Seattle Times
Nov. 7, 2010
10 ways to save money on your utility bill
, Oct. 2, 2010
Mr. Electricity Ranks Refrigerators & Electrical Wasters
Green Building Elements
, Sep. 8, 2010
The case against long-distance relationships
Sep. 3, 2010
10 household items that are bleeding you dry
Times Daily (Florence, AL),
July 27, 2010
Cold, hard cash
Kansas City Star,
June 22, 10
Stretch your dollar, not your budget
, May 18, 2010
, Winter 2010
2010 Frugal Living Guide
Energy-saving schemes yield €5.8m in savings
, Dec. 20, 09
Four ways to reduce your PC's carbon footprint
Dec 2, 09
The day I hit the brakes
, Fall 2009
How Much Do You Really Save By Air-Drying Your Clothes?
The Simple Dollar
Enjoy the mild weather, low electricity bills
, Jul 18, 09
The most energy-efficient way to heat a cup of water
Christian Science Monitor
, Jun 16, 09
Ten ways to save energy
Times of Malta
Jan 3, 09
Measuring your green IT baseline
Sep 4, 08
The Power Hungry Digital Lifestyle
, Sep 4, 07
, Feb 12, 07
Answers to all your electricity questions
, Jul 11, 08
Monsters and Critics
, Jan 6,
A hunt for energy hogs
Wall Street Journal
, Dec 18, 06
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This information is of limited practical value
I provide the following information because readers
have asked for it, not because I think it's particularly
useful. Nothing below will help you save electricity or save
money on your electric bill. And while it's important to know
that electricity generation creates pollution, since that's
one reason you should save electricity, it's not important to
know exactly how many pounds of coal are required to create a
kilowatt-hour of electric. If you're interested in pollution
pollution calculator is much more helpful.
Electrical energy is measured in kilowatt-hours,
abbreviated kWh. See the
kilowatt? section for more.
According to conversion of units, 1 kWh = 3412 Btu. But
if you actually convert some fuel to electricity, some energy
will be lost due to the inefficiency of the generating
process. We refer to this inefficiency by using the heat
rate, which is the actual amount of fuel
required to produce 1 kWh. For example, if the heat rate
is 8000 Btu, then the efficiency is 3412 ÷ 8400 = 40.6%.
Here are the efficiences for different kinds of fuels (usually
for turning a steam turbine):
Natural Gas: 29.4-44.8%
Source: Energy Information
Sources conflict on the number of pounds of coal to
create a kWh of electricity:
Transmission and distribution losses are estimated to be
( source ),
so the above figures would be adjusted downward accordingly.
An average household uses around 920 kWh/mo. If they got
all their electricity from burning coal, that's 793 to 1091
pounds of coal per month.
Coal-fired plants are only 34-44% efficient at converting
coal to electricity.
Natural Gas & Oil
Natural Gas: It takes 0.01003 Mcf (1,000
cubic feet) to make 1 kWh. This includes power plant
Oil (residential fuel): It takes 0.0016
barrels to make 1 kWh. This includes the
inefficiency of the conversion process. From the
From the Solar plant with dry cooling: 80 gallons per
Nuclear plants (with closed-loop cooling):
700-1100 gallons per megawatt-hour
Nuclear plants (with open-loop cooling):
25,000-60,000 gallons per megawatt-hour
Coal-fired plants (closed-loop): 500-600 gallons
Coal-fired plants (open-loop): 20,000-50,000
gallons per megawatt-hour
Biomass (crops grown for the purpose of fuel):
40,000 to 100,000 gallons per megawatt-hour
Natural gas fracking: 2-10 million gallons per
Energy, the Southwest Project nuclear power plant
generates 2500 MW (megawatts) of electricity.
calculator will tell you how much pollution (sulphur
dioxide, volatile organic compounds, etc.) is caused by your
Next: How much electricity costs »»
Last update: June 2013.