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A Telling InfoGraphic: The Average American’s Energy Consumption. Is this you?

InfoGraphic from VisualEconomics.com (Click for Larger Image)

I love infographics. Anyone can throw out facts and figures about the average American’s use and source of energy, but it’s another thing to show that information visually and comparatively.

At a glance of the above, I know that:

  • 20% of our home’s energy usage goes into heating water. 20%. That’s a huge chunk. Obviously, solar hot water would eliminate a good portion of that chunk, but let’s go further.
  • We can also see that 41% of our energy cost is from space heating, to heat our homes. Guess what. Solar thermal (hot water) systems can also be configured to eliminate most of those costs as well. So now we’re up to 61% of our energy costs that could be significantly reduced. But wait there’s more.
  • Another 8% is used for air conditioning. And wouldn’t you know it, there are some new solar thermal systems that can be used for cooling air to for air conditioning. So, let’s add another 8% for a grand total of 69% of energy costs that could be eliminated with some type of solar thermal system.
  • Naturally, many people use electricity, so if you wanted to kick in purchasing a solar electric system (a different type of solar panel/system than solar hot water/thermal), you could eliminate the other 31%.

Of course, you can go down to the bottom of this infographic and quickly see that most of our energy is currently coming from coal, gas, and oil. But there’s something that this infographic can’t tell you, and that’s to act.

Whether you’re concerned about the recent environmental disasters, increasing costs, or our dependency on foreign oil, don’t just shake your head about this graphic. At the very least, you can:

  • Get an energy audit. Knowledge is power (pun intended), and you’re unlikely to do anything until you know where you stand. (We can help you do that, by the way.)
  • Research the solar upgrade costs by getting a quote. Again, you may be concerned that doing something is too costly, but you can’t know that until you get a real estimate–which is free–so what can you lose but a little time? (Have you seen our case study of an apartment building going solar?)
  • Support clean energy politicians and initiatives. At last, U.S. policies are beginning to support solar and other types of renewable energy, but that could change every time there’s a local or national election. If your candidate is still supporting oil and coal, then tell them to stop and/or vote for someone else. Coal, oil, and gas companies have been getting subsidies for a 100 years now. Shouldn’t they be mature enough to make it on their own now? I think they’ve had more than a fair share of our tax dollars, don’t you?
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One Response to A Telling InfoGraphic: The Average American’s Energy Consumption. Is this you?

  1. Scott D. says:

    Thanks for posting this, Fred. Graphics in general always make it easier for data consumption. But the extreme of these numbers really need to be called out. Us US citizens are so blind to how we just take the “status quo” for granted it is embarrassing. We talk a lot of “green building” at GreenExpo365, but most builders will only build “green” if it is in the best interest of their “green” income. Decisions need to be made for the good of conservation…resource conservation. And solar use, like you always remind us, is a great place to start.
    We’re with you, Solar Fred!