If you think your electricity bill is too high, you’re probably right - but it’s not just because energy is expensive. The average monthly bill for electricity is over $110, and almost $40 of that is from energy that your home is wasting. This is a problem - but for a homeowner who’s serious about sustainable living, it’s not insurmountable.
There’s no denying that the modern world is convenient. We can travel farther, communicate faster, and achieve more than at any other point in history. All of this is possible through our society’s mastery of electricity.
It’s electricity that powers the factories where cars are made. It’s electricity that powers the internet, lets us pay with credit and debit cards, and literally lights up our lives. According to the Energy Information Administration, the last few decades have seen explosive growth in the amount of energy consumed across the country. The truth of the matter is that there aren’t many new things that don’t involve a lot of energy being spent at some point in the process, and we’re quite literally paying the price for it.
Now, in a perfect world, we’d never waste the slightest bit of energy we produced. Unfortunately, reality is a little less than ideal, giving rise to the following considerations.
• First, perfect use of energy is an unobtainable goal. We literally do not have the capability to use 100% of our energy without any kind of waste. When we say that a product is “energy efficient”, what we really mean is “it’s one of the least-wasteful choices we have”.
• Second, the only practical way to have zero waste is to use zero energy. In other words, to truly eliminate waste, we’d have to give up almost everything our society has created. It doesn’t take an expert to realize this has exactly no chance of happening.
This doesn’t mean all is lost, though. While we can’t expect to be perfect, we can make a serious commitment to reducing energy waste when and where it’s practical to do so. There are many ways to save energy in your home, and when every household takes a few small steps to reduce waste, the total result is incredible. For now, though, let’s take a look at this infographic and see which parts of your home are using the most energy.