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Green Basics


First Goal for Electrical Use: Cut Consumption


Appliances and good habits can lower bills

On a Btu basis, electricity is the most expensive form of residential energy in the U.S. Yet we use more of it — roughly 4.5 trillion Btu per year — than any other fuel except natural gas. An average household consumes 920 kilowatt-hours of power a month to feed a growing list of appliances and electronic devices and in the process spends just under $100 a month. While few households could do without electricity, most could find ways to reduce consumption.

Using less electricity has the obvious benefit of lowering monthly power bills. And because burning coal generates about half of the nation’s electrical supply, conservation also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants released into the atmosphere.

In residential construction, conservation techniques have nothing to do with the network of cables and switches we install. Those costs are essentially fixed no matter how much electricity is eventually used. Cutting consumption requires efficient appliances, a conservation-minded household, and common sense.

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