Save Energy by Purchasing Efficient Light Bulbs

Lighting accounts for roughly 15-25% of our total home energy use, and that can have a major effect on our wallets. It’s certainly not practical to just stop using our lights, but we can certainly upgrade to more energy efficient bulbs which will save energy and, subsequently, save money. Our old incandescent light bulbs are incredibly inefficient, drawing 60 watts of power for about 800 lumens of light. By switching to CFLs or LEDs, you can achieve 800 lumens or more for about one-fifth of the energy required by an incandescent bulb.

CFL bulbs are easy to spot with their telltale curly-tubed shape. They use roughly 75-80% less energy than an incandescent bulb and provide about the same amount of light. Some CFLs are also Energy Star certified, which means they are guaranteed to save you electricity, potentially more so than other CFLs. CFLs also last about

more »

Energy Basics for Kids – Part 8

It is summer and the kids are out of school! Just because school is no longer in session, doesn’t mean they still can’t learn a few things – like the basics of energy. The Source Power & Gas Energy Basics for Kids series will educate your children on everything they need to know about energy.

Part 1 – What Is Energy?

Part 2 – Renewable and Non-renewable

Part 3 – Energy Source

Part 4 – Using Energy

Part 5 – History of Energy, Part 1

Part 6 – History of Energy, Part 2 

Part 7 – Saving Energy

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

We’ve learned what energy is, where it comes from, how we’ve come to use it, and how to use it efficiently in our previous blogs. Today, we will look at energy production’s effect on the environment. For the most part, generating energy is harmful to our environment, but we can’t

more »

Save On Electricity At Home With The Right Power Strip

Our homes are filled with dozens of electronic devices these days. DVD players, televisions, computers, video game consoles, cell phone chargers, and many other devices make up the majority of our electronic collections; they also represent a fairly significant 10% of your home’s total energy consumption. Electronics that are plugged in are constantly draining electricity, even if they are powered down. This is known as the “vampire load,” and it’s sucking your wallet dry without you even realizing it.

There are several ways to combat the vampire load, and none of them require holy water, garlic, or a stake. Unplugging your electronics when you are not using them is the most basic solution, but not always the most practical. That’s where power strips come in handy. Plugging a collection of electronic devices into a power strip allows you to cut power to all of the devices at once with the

more »

Electricity Fun Facts Everyone Should Learn

Electricity is a fundamental part of our everyday lives. Without electricity, we would still be burning oil lanterns at night, driving steam powered vehicles, and you would not be reading this blog on your computer. Perhaps you know that electricity is usually generated by spinning turbines inside of dams, windmills, or in coal plants, but there are probably quite a few things about electricity and energy you may not have known.

1. Pretty much all light bulbs only utilize 10% of the energy consumed to emit light. The other 90% is radiated as heat. However, upgrading from incandescent lights to CFL or LED bulbs reduces the amount of electricity consumed, but keeps the same amount of light (lumens).

2. Every minute, the sunlight that hits the Earth could supply all of the world’s energy needs for a year, but we don’t have near enough solar panels to

more »

Energy Basics for Kids – Part 7

It is summer and the kids are out of school! Just because school is no longer in session, doesn’t mean they still can’t learn a few things – like the basics of energy. The Source Power & Gas Energy Basics for Kids series will educate your children on everything they need to know about energy.

Part 1 – What Is Energy?

Part 2 – Renewable and Non-renewable

Part 3 – Energy Source

Part 4 – Using Energy

Part 5 – History of Energy, Part 1

Part 6 – History of Energy, Part 2 

SAVING ENERGY

Electricity powers everything in our homes. It’s important that we don’t take that electricity for granted. So much electricity gets wasted every day from lights being left on, windows kept open, and electronics staying plugged in. Beyond the electricity in our homes, energy is wasted when we sit in traffic on a busy

more »

Top Solar Power Producers by City in the United States

In the growing renewable energy sector, solar power has been gaining widespread popularity. Many major cities generate a fair amount of electricity from sunlight per person. Two regions in the United States are especially taking the initiative and soaking up all the sun they can, but instead of tanning, they’re producing green, renewable energy. If you’d like to see the regions that have the highest concentrations of solar energy, check out the Open PV Project. That’s exactly what One Block Off the Grid did when they wanted to find the top solar cities.

Since the year 2000, the two regions that lit up the map with solar power were a swath of land between San Diego and San Francisco, as well as the northeast region from Maryland to northern New York. One Block Off the Grid (1BOG) helps homeowners find solar installers to outfit their homes with

more »

United States Energy Supply Helps Support Needs

Maintaining the United States energy needs is no simple task for our country, as we do not produce enough to sustain the entire country’s population. For this reason, we have to import fuel from other countries. However, the oil reserves in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota are helping even out the produced versus consumed energy. The produced versus consumed energy ratio was at its lowest point in US history in 2005, but as of 2013, it is the highest it has been since 1987. The energy ratio for 2013 was 84%, thanks to places like the Bakken Shale.

The United States energy industry produced 81.7 quadrillion BTUs worth of energy for its 97.5 quadrillion BTU demand in 2013. In 2005, the country was only able to meet 69% of the demand, and needed to import the rest. The country has not had a surplus of energy

more »

Energy Basics for Kids – Part 6

It is summer and the kids are out of school! Just because school is no longer in session, doesn’t mean they still can’t learn a few things – like the basics of energy. The Source Power & Gas series will educate your children on everything they need to know about energy.

Part 1 – What Is Energy?

Part 2 – Renewable and Non-renewable

Part 3 – Energy Source

Part 4 – Using Energy

Part 5 – History of Energy, Part 1 

HISTORY OF ENERGY, PART 2

Last week, we learned about some of Benjamin Franklin and Michael Faraday’s experiments that led to the widespread use of the electricity we see today. While Ben Franklin proved that lightning was electricity, Faraday proved that magnetic induction, voltaic (battery) electricity, and static (lightning and the shock you feel when touching a metal surface sometimes) electricity were all the same. Thanks

more »

United States Energy Innovation Soars

United States energy research and innovation has been seeing a major upturn. Research has led to several new technologies, including air batteries, thermal batteries, and bio fuel from pine trees. Some of these inventions may have a science fiction “what were they thinking?” feel to them, but one never knows . . . one of these methods may end up being the answer to revolutionizing the energy industry. The ARPA-E Summit held in Washington DC in late February showcased over 260 new technologies coming from the brilliant minds that look to change the world for the better.

ARPA-E provides some small funding to the tune of about $1 million to projects like these that have some potential for improving technology. The projects showcased by the program are very early stage, many of them prototypes of new technology. The program’s total budget is about $275 million per year, but

more »

Energy Basics for Kids – Part 5

It is summer and the kids are out of school! Just because school is no longer in session, doesn’t mean they still can’t learn a few things – like the basics of energy. The Source Power & Gas Energy Basics for Kids series will educate your children on everything they need to know about energy.

Part 1 – What Is Energy?

Part 2 – Renewable and Non-renewable

Part 3 – Energy Source

Part 4 – Using Energy 

HISTORY OF ENERGY, PART 1

Wood was the primary source of fuel for creating fire for hundreds of thousands of years. Burning wood allowed early humans to stay warm and cook food. Today, we have many different fuels to create fire. Some of the fires we create are so incredibly hot, they turn water into steam very quickly and that steam in turn spins turbines to generate electricity. But how

more »