is a ratio a rate of comparing how much energy is put into
something compared to how much energy is used to create the desired
process. Look at the example of making a pie. To make a pie, you
have to prepare the filling of apples. You need to peel the apples,
remove the seeds, and make apple slices. Maybe it takes you 10 pounds
of apples to make one pie. Your mother can make two pies with that
same 10 pounds. She has just as much filling in each of her pies
as you do. Mom is just better at peeling so she wastes less apple.
She is more efficient with the apples by a ratio of 2:1. She makes
two pies for every one pie you make.
Appliances and Processes
is used to talk about refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces,
freezers, cars, windows, and practically every appliance that requires
energy to run. All major appliances (washing machines, ovens, refrigerators,
air conditioners) have energy guides. These guides tell you how
much it costs to run the appliances for a year. Appliances that
are more efficient than their counterparts often have an Energy
Energy Star label tells the buyer that this appliance is more efficient
that similar models of the same appliance. This is a voluntary program
aren't the only items that we can use when we talk about efficiency.
Processes can also be rated. An older energy plant that uses coal
to generate electricity is not as efficient as a brand new plant
that generates electricity from the same coal. Coal may not be burned
completely in the older plant. Or there may be a lot of wasted heat
that escapes through the process. Newer systems and equipment are
usually much more efficient at using energy to create a product
than models that are even just ten years old. Technology improves
efficiency in a typical thermal electric power plant
with chemical energy in coal
loss in stack gases
loss in cooling water
efficiency of the plant
are a huge part of the efficiency issue. According the 2001 Urban
Mobility Report, 6.8 gallons of excess fuel are consumed during
rush hour traffic delays in a year. That means when your car is
stuck in traffic, it keeps using energy (in the form of gasoline)
that is wasted. And that isn't the only bad news for cars. Fuel
economy for cars is actually decreasing to its lowest levels since
1980. Cars built in 2001 average 24.5 miles per gallon. Compare
this to 24.7 miles per gallon for cars built in 2000. Would you
believe cars in 1987 got 26.2 miles per gallon. Why the decline?
Larger vehicles, like trucks and SUVs, are more popular than ever,
and use more gasoline than smaller cars.
More With Less
Energy efficiency doesn't mean doing without. No one wants to go
back to life before microwave ovens and air conditioning. What efficiency
means is that we do more with less. We create products that do the
most possible work with the least amount of energy. We make tools
more efficient. What possibilities do you see for efficiency
in your future?
A vampire appliance is an appliance that uses energy even when
it is turned off. Any appliance that uses a remote control is a
vampire appliance because it uses a little bit of electricity to
stay in a stand-by mode, so when you push the ON button, the machine
goes on right away. Computer monitors are another vampire appliance.
Many people do not shut off their monitors when they shut down their
computers. Turning off the monitor over night can save you as much
as $50 per year in electricity!
Cars! Research is looking at how to improve the efficiency of Sport
Utility Vehicles (SUVs). This PBS NewsHour site examines
SUVs and what is being done to increase their gas mileage. Or
check out how to create
This Home Energy
Audit Worksheet was developed by Economic Research Associates (Eugene,
Oregon)for use by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, its
members utilities and their customers.
HEAT LOSS QUIZ
This Home Heat Loss Quiz was adapted for use by the Iowa Association
of Municipal Utilities, its member utilities and their customers.
It is intended to give you and idea of how well your home is weatherized
and insulated. You simply answer a series of questions, and then
assign points for each answer.
Many older homes waste a lot of energy because of air leaks. If
you can find and seal those leaks, you can save energy and money
up to $150 a year for an average household.
Adding insulation to your attic, walls, basement, and sill boxes
is like wrapping your home in a warm blanket during the winter.
To maintain comfort in the winter, the heat lost through uninsulated
walls, floors, and ceilings must be replaced by your heating system.
In the summer, your home gains heat through uninsulated surfaces.
Today's refrigerators and freezers use a third of the energy used
by a model manufactured in 1973.
Guide Label Explained
The EnergyGuide information is designed to help you compare the
annual energy use or efficiency of competing brands and similar
models. Look for the distinctive yellow-and-black label on clothes
washers, dishwashers, refrigerator/freezers and water heaters, as
well as on home heating and cooling equipment.
ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program helping businesses and
individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.
This new program, a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE), industry, motor/drive manufacturers and distributors, and
other key participants, is putting information about energy-efficient
electric motor system technology into the hands of people who can
Much Energy do your Light Bulbs require?
The typical incandescent light bulb wastes 90 percent of the energy
it uses, producing heat rather than light. A breakthrough in lighting
technology called the compact fluorescent is a more efficient alternative
to the incandescent bulb.